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V 



ESSAYS ON THE LATIN ORIENT 



CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS 

C. F. CLAY, Manager 

LONDON : FETTER LANE, E.C. 4 




NEW YORK : THE MAC MILL AN CO. 

BOMBAY \ 

CALCUTTA V MACMILLAN AND CO., Ltd. 

MADRAS J 

TORONTO : THE MACMILLAN CO. 

OF CANADA, Ltd. 
TOKYO : MARUZEN-KABUSHIKI-KAISHA 



ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 



ESSAYS 

ON 

THE LATIN ORIENT 



BY 

WILLIAM MILLER, MA. (Oxon.) 

HON. LL.D. IN THE NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF GREECE: CORRESPONDING 

MEMBER OF THE HISTORICAL AND ETHNOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF GREECE: 

AUTHOR OF THE LATINS IN THE LEVANT 



/(pS3M 



&. i . as? 



CAMBRIDGE 

AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS 

1921 



" You imagine that the campaigners against Troy were the only- 
heroes, while you forget the other more numerous and diviner 
heroes whom your country has produced." 

Philostratus, Life of Apollomus of Tyana, hi. 19. 



PREFACE 

This volume consists of articles and monographs upon the 
Latin Orient and Balkan history, published between 1897 and 
the present year. For kind permission to reprint them in collected 
form I am indebted to the editors and proprietors of The Quarterly 
Review, The English Historical Review, The Journal of Hellenic 
Studies, Die Byzantinische Zeitschrift, The Westminster Review, The 
Gentleman's Magazine, and The Journal of the British and American 
Archaeological Society of Rome. All the articles have been revised 
and brought up to date by the light of recent research in a field 
of history which is no longer neglected in either the Near East 

or Western Europe. 

W. M. 

36, Via Palestro, 
Rome. 

March, 1921. 



CONTENTS 



CHAP. 

I. THE ROMANS IN GREECE 



II. BYZANTINE GREECE 



III. FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

i. THE FRANKISH CONQUEST OF GREECE 

2. FRANKISH SOCIETY IN GREECE 

3. THE PRINCES OF THE PELOPONNESE . 
APPENDIX: THE NAME OF NAVARINO 

4. THE DUKES OF ATHENS 

APPENDIX: THE FRANKISH INSCRIPTION AT 
KARDITZA 



5. FLORENTINE ATHENS .... 
APPENDIX: 

NOTES ON ATHENS UNDER THE FRANKS 
THE TURKISH CAPTURE OF ATHENS . 

6. THE DUCHY OF NAXOS .... 
APPENDIX: THE MAD DUKE OF NAXOS 

7. CRETE UNDER THE VENETIANS (1204-1669) 

8. THE IONIAN ISLANDS UNDER VENETIAN RULE . 

9. MONEMVASIA 

10. THE MARQUISATE OF BOUDONITZA (1204-1414) 

11. ITHAKE UNDER THE FRANKS 

12. THE LAST VENETIAN ISLANDS IN THE ^GEAN 

13. SALONIKA 



IV. THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

1. THE ZACCARIA OF PHOOEA AND CHIOS (1275-1329) 

2. THE GENOESE IN CHIOS (1346-1566) 

3. THE GATTILUSJ OF LESBOS (1355-1462) 

V. TURKISH GREECE (1460-1684) 



PAGE 

I 

29 

57 
57 
70 

85 
107 

no 

132 
135 

155 
160 

161 
175 
177 
199 
231 

245 
261 
265 
268 

283 
283 
298 
313 

355 



VI. THE VENETIAN REVIVAL IN GREECE (1684-1718) 403 



vm 



CONTENTS 



CHAP. 

VII. MISCELLANEA FROM THE NEAR EAST . 

i. VALONA 

2. THE MEDIAEVAL SERBIAN EMPIRE 
APPENDIX: THE FOUNDER OF MONTENEGRO . 

3. BOSNIA BEFORE THE TURKISH CONQUEST 

4. BALKAN EXILES IN ROME 

5. THE LATIN KINGDOM OF JERUSALEM (1099-1291) 

6. A BYZANTINE BLUE STOCKING: ANNA COMNENA 



PAGE 
429 

429 

441 

458 

460 

497 
515 
533 



PLATE 


FIGS. 


I. 


I &2. 


II. 


I. 




2. 


III. 


I. 




2. 


IV. 




V. 


I. 




2. 


VI. 


I. 




2. 


VII. 


I. 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

TO FACE PAGE 

The Church of St George at Karditza . 134 

monemvasia from the land .... 234 

Monemvasia. Entrance to Kastro . . 234 

MONEMVASIA. Uavayia MvpTi8i(orio-<ra . . 235 

Monemvasia. 'Ayla Sofaa .... 235 

Monemvasia. Kastro 240 

Monemvasia. Town Walls and Gate . . 241 
Monemvasia. Modern Town at Base of 

Cliff 241 

Boudonitza. The Castle from the West . 246 

Boudonitza. The Castle from the East . 246 

Boudonitza. The Keep and the Hellenic 

Gateway 247 

Boudonitza. The Hellenic Gateway . . 247 



ILLUSTRATIONS IN THE TEXT 

Fig. 1. Inscription on the Church at Karditza 
„ 2. Arms on Well-Head in the Castle at Monem- 



vasia 



133 

242 



MAP 



The Near East in 1350 



BETWEEN PAGES 282 AND 283 



I. THE ROMANS IN GREECE 

From the Roman conquest in 146 B.C. Greece lost her independence 
for a period of nearly two thousand years. During twenty centuries 
the country had no separate existence as a nation, but followed the 
fortunes of foreign rulers. Attached, first to Rome and then to Con- 
stantinople, it was divided among various Latin nobles after the fall 
of the Byzantine Empire in 1204, and succumbed to the Turks in the 
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. From that time, with the exception 
of the brief Venetian occupation of the Peloponnese, and the long 
foreign administration of the Ionian Islands, it remained an integral 
part of the Turkish Empire till the erection of the modern Greek king- 
dom. Far too little attention has been paid to the history of Greece 
under foreign domination, for which large materials have been collected 
since Finlay wrote his great work. Yet, even in the darkest hours of 
bondage, the annals of Greece can scarcely fail to interest the admirers 
of ancient Hellas. 

The victorious Romans treated the vanquished Greeks with modera- 
tion, and their victory was regarded by the masses as a relief from the 
state of war which was rapidly consuming the resources of the taxpayers. 
Satisfied to forego the galling symbols, provided that they held the 
substance, of power in their own hands, the conquerors contented 
themselves with dissolving the Achaian League, with destroying, 
perhaps from motives of commercial policy, the great mart of Corinth, 
and with subordinating the Greek communities to the governor of 
the Roman province of Macedonia, who exercised supreme supervision 
over them. But these local bodies were allowed to preserve their 
formal liberties; Corfu, the first of Greek cities to submit to Rome, 
always remained autonomous, and Athens and Sparta enjoyed special 
immunities as "the allies of Rome," while the sacred character of 
Delphi secured for it practical autonomy. A few years after the conquest 
the old Leagues were permitted to revive, at least in name; and the 
land tax, payable by most of the communities to the Roman Govern- 
ment, seemed to fulfil the expectation of the natives that their fiscal 
burdens would be diminished under foreign rule. The historian Poly bios 1 , 
who successfully pleaded the cause of his countrymen at this great 
crisis in their history, has contrasted the purity of Roman financial 

1 xl. 5. 

M. I 



2 THE ROMANS IN GREECE 

administration with the corruption of Greek public men, and has cited 
a saying current in Greece soon after the conquest: "If we had not 
perished quickly, we should not have been saved." While this was the 
popular view, the large class of landed proprietors was also pleased 
by the recognition of its social position by its new masters, and the 
men who were entrusted with the delicate task of organising the 
conquered country at the outset of its new career wisely availed them- 
selves of the disinterested services of Polybios, who enjoyed the confi- 
dence of both Greeks and Romans. Even Mummius himself, the 
destroyer of Corinth, if he carried off many fine statues to deck his 
triumph, left behind him the memory of his gentleness to the weak, 
as well as that of his firmness to the strong, and might have been 
taken as the embodiment of those qualities which Virgil, more than 
a century later, held up to the imitation of his countrymen. 

The pax Romana, which the Roman conquest seemed likely to 
confer upon the jealous Greeks, was occasionally broken in the early 
decades of the new administration. The sacred isle of Delos, which was 
then subordinate to Athens, and which had become the greatest mart 
for merchandise and slaves in the Levant since the destruction of Corinth, 
and the silver-mines of Laurion, which had of old provided the sinews 
of naval warfare against the Persian host, were the scenes of servile 
insurrections such as that which about the same time raged in Sicily, 
and a democratic rising at Dyme not far from Patras called for repres- 
sion. But the participation of many Greeks in the quarrel between 
Rome and Mithridates, King of Pontus, entailed far more serious 
consequences upon their country. While the warlike Cretans, who had 
not bowed as yet beneath the Roman yoke, sent their redoubtable 
archers to serve in his ranks, the Athenians were seduced from their 
allegiance by the rhetoric of their fellow-citizen, Athenion, or Aristion, 
a man of dubious origin, who had found the profession of philosopher 
so paying that he was now able to indulge in that of a patriot. Appointed 
captain of the city, he established a reign of terror, and included the 
Roman party and his own philosophic rivals in the same proscription. 
He despatched the bibliophile Apellikon, who had purchased the 
library of Aristotle, with an expedition against Delos, which failed; 
but a similar attempt by the Pontic forces was successful, and the 
prosperity of the island was almost ruined by their ravages. When 
the armies of Mithridates reached the mainland, there was a great 
rising against the Romans, and for the second time the plain of 
Chaironeia witnessed a battle, which on this occasion, however, was 
indecisive. A great change now took place in the fortunes of the war. 



THE ROMANS IN GREECE 3 

Sulla arrived in Greece, routed the Athenian philosopher and his 
Pontic colleague in a single battle, cowed most of the Greeks by the 
mere terror of his name, and laid siege to Athens and the Piraeus, 
which offered a vigorous resistance. The groves of the Academy and 
the Lyceum furnished the timber for his battering rams; the treasuries 
of the most famous temples, those of Delphi, Olympia and Epidauros, 
provided pay for his soldiers; the remains of the famous "long walls," 
which had united Athens with her harbour, were converted into siege- 
works. The knoll near the street of tombs, on which a tiny church 
now stands, is supposed to be part of Sulla's mound, and the bones 
found there those of his victims. An attempt to relieve the besieged 
failed; and, as their provisions grew scarce, the Athenians lost heart 
and sought to obtain favourable terms from the enemy. In the true 
Athenian spirit, they prayed for consideration on the ground that their 
ancestors had fought at Marathon. But the practical Roman replied 
that he had "not come to study history, but to chastise rebels 1 ," and 
insisted on unconditional surrender. In 86 B.C. Athens was taken by 
assault, and many of the inhabitants were butchered; but, in spite of 
his indifference to the glories of Marathon, the conqueror consented 
to spare the fabric of the city for the sake of its ancient renown. The 
Akropolis, where Aristion had taken refuge, still held out, and the 
Odeion of Perikles, which stood at the south-east corner of it, perished 
by fire in the siege. Want of water at last forced the garrison to surrender, 
and the evacuation of the Piraeus by the Pontic commander made 
Sulla master of that important position also. To the Piraeus he showed 
as little mercy as Mummius had shown to Corinth. While from Athens 
he carried off nothing except a few columns of the temple of Zeus 
Olympios, a large sum of money which he found in the treasury of the 
Parthenon, and a fine manuscript of Aristotle and Theophrastos, he 
levelled the Piraeus with the ground, and inflicted upon it a punishment 
from which it did not recover till the time of Constantine. Then he 
marched to Chaironeia, where another battle ended in the rout of the 
Pontic army, and the Thebans atoned for their rebellion by the loss 
of half their territory, which the victor consecrated to the temples of 
Delphi and Olympia as compensation for what he had taken from them. 
A fresh Pontic defeat at Orchomenos in Bceotia ended the war upon 
Greek soil, but the struggle long left its mark upon the country. Athens 
still retained her privileges, and the Cappadocian King Ariobarzanes II, 
Philopator and his son, restored the Odeion of Perikles 2 , but many 

1 Plutarch, Sulla, 13. 

* Two Athenian inscriptions (Bockh, C.I.G., 1. 409) allude to this restoration. 



4 THE ROMANS IN GREECE 

of her citizens had died in the siege, and the rival armies had inflicted 
enormous injuries on Attica and Bceotia, the chief theatre of the war. 
Some small towns never recovered, and Thebes sank into a state of 
insignificance from which she did not emerge for centuries. 

The pirates continued the work of destruction, which the first 
Mithridatic war had begun. The geographical configuration of the 
iEgean coasts has always been favourable to that ancient scourge of 
the Levant, and the conclusion of peace between Rome and the Pontic 
king let loose upon society a number of adventurers, whose occupation 
had ceased with the war. The inhabitants of Cilicia and Crete excelled 
above all others in the practice of this lucrative profession, and many 
were their depredations upon the Greek shores and islands. One pirate 
captain destroyed the sanctuaries of Delos and carried off the whole 
population into slavery; two others defeated the Roman admiral in 
Cretan waters. This last disgrace resulted in the conquest of that fine 
island by the Roman proconsul Quintus Metellus, whose difficult task 
fully earned him the title of "Creticus." The islanders fought with the 
desperate courage which they have evinced in all ages. Beaten in the 
open, they retired behind the walls of Kydonia and Knossos, and when 
those places fell, a guerilla warfare went on in the mountains, until 
at last Crete surrendered, and the last vestige of Greek freedom in 
Europe disappeared in the guise of a Roman province. Meanwhile, 
Pompey had swept the pirates from the seas, and established a colony 
of those marauders at Dyme, the scene of the previous rebellion 1 . 
Neither before nor since has piracy been put down with such thorough- 
ness in the Levant, and Greece enjoyed, for a time at least, a welcome 
immunity from its ravages. 

But the administration of the provinces in the last century of the 
Roman Republic often pressed very heavily upon the unfortunate 
provincials. Even after making due deduction for professional exaggera- 
tion from the charges brought by Cicero against extortionate governors, 
there remains ample evidence of their exactions. The notorious Verres, 
the scourge of Sicily, though he only passed through Greece, levied 
blackmail upon Sikyon and plundered the treasury of the Parthenon, 
and bad governors of Macedonia, like Caius Antonius and Piso, had 
greater opportunities for making money at the expense of the Greeks. 
As Juvenal complained at a later period, even when these scoundrels 
were brought to justice on their return home, their late province gained 
nothing by their punishment, and Caius Antonius, in exile on Cepha- 
lonia, treated that island as if it were his private property. The Roman 

1 Plutarch, Pompey. 28. 



THE ROMANS IN GREECE 5 

money-lenders had begun, too, to exploit the financial necessities of 
the Greeks, and even so ardent a Philhellene as Cicero's correspondent, 
Atticus, who owed his name to his long sojourn at Athens and to his 
interest in everything Attic, lent money to the people of Sikyon on 
such ruinous terms that they had to sell their pictures to pay off the 
debt. Athens, deprived of her commercial resources since the siege 
by Sulla, resorted to the sale of her coveted citizenship, much as 
some modern States sell titles, and subsisted mainly on the reputation 
of her schools of philosophy. It became the fashion for young Romans 
of promise to study there; thus Cicero spent six months there and 
revisited the city on his way to and from his Cilician governorship, 
and Horace tells us that he tried "to seek the truth among the groves 
of Academe 1 ." Others resorted to Greece for purposes of travel or 
health, and the hellebore of Antikyra (now Aspra Spitia) on the 
Corinthian Gulf and the still popular baths of ^Edepsos in Eubcea 
were fashionable cures in good Roman society. Moreover, a tincture 
of Greek letters was considered to be part of the education of a Roman 
gentleman. Cicero constantly uses Greek phrases in his correspondence, 
and Latin poets borrowed most of their plumes from Greek literature. 
The two Roman civil wars which were fought on Greek soil between 
49 and 31 B.C., were a great misfortune for Greece, whose inhabitants 
took sides as if the cause were their own. The struggle between Caesar 
and Pompey was decided at Pharsalos in Thessaly, and most of the 
Greeks found that they had chosen the cause of the vanquished, whose 
exploits against the pirates and generous gift of money for the restora- 
tion of Athens were still remembered. But Caesar showed his usual 
magnanimity towards the misguided Greeks, with the exception of 
the Megareans, whose stubborn resistance to his arms was severely 
punished. Most of the survivors of the siege were sold as slaves, and 
one of Caesar's officials, writing to Cicero a little later, says that as 
he sailed up the Saronic Gulf, the once flourishing cities of Megara, 
the Pirasus and Corinth lay in ruins before his eyes 2 . It was Caesar, 
however, who in 44 B.C., raised the last of these towns from its ashes. 
But the new Corinth, which he founded, was a Roman colony rather 
than a Greek city, whose inhabitants were chiefly freedmen, and whose 
name was at first associated with a lucrative traffic in antiquities, 
derived from the plunder of the ancient tombs. Had he lived, Caesar 
had intended to dig a canal through the Isthmus — a feat reserved 
for the reign of the late King George. On Caesar's death, his murderer, 
Brutus, was enthusiastically welcomed by the Athenians, who erected 

1 Epist. n. 2, 45. 2 Epistola ad Diversos, iv. 5, 4. 



6 THE ROMANS IN GREECE 

statues to him and Cassius besides those of the ancient tyrannicides, 
Harmodios and Aristogeiton. The struggle between him and the 
Triumvirs was decided at Philippi in Greek Macedonia, near the modern 
Kavalla, but had little effect upon the fortunes of Greece, though there 
were Greek contingents on either side. After the fall of Brutus, Antony- 
spent a long time at Athens, where he flattered the susceptible natives 
by wearing their costume, amused them by his antics and orgies on 
the Akropolis, gratified them by the gift of JEgina. and other islands, 
and scandalised them by the presence of Cleopatra, upon whom he 
expected them to bestow the highest honours. When the war broke 
out between him and Octavian for the mastery of the Roman world, 
Greece for the second time became the theatre of her masters' fratricidal 
strife. At no previous time since the conquest had the unhappy country 
suffered such oppression as then. The inhabitants were torn from their 
homes to serve on the ships of Antony, the Peloponnese was divided 
into two hostile camps according to the sympathies of the natives, 
and in the great naval battle of Aktion the fleeing ship of Cleopatra 
was pursued by a Lacedaemonian galley. The geographer Strabo, who 
passed through Greece two years later, has left us a grim picture of 
the state of the country. Bceotia was utterly ruined; Larissa was the 
only town in Thessaly worth mentioning; many of the most famous 
cities of the Peloponnese were barren wastes; Megalopolis was a 
wilderness, Laconia had barely thirty towns; Dyme, whose citizens 
had taken to piracy again, was falling into decay. The Ionian Islands 
and Tegea formed pleasant exceptions to the general misery, but as an 
instance of the wretched condition of the iEgean, the islet of Gyaros 
was unable to pay its annual tribute of £5. The desolation of Greece 
impressed Octavian so deeply that he founded two colonies for his 
veterans on Hellenic soil, one in 30 B.C. on the spot where his camp 
had been pitched at the battle of Aktion, which received the name of 
Nikopolis ("City of victory") in memory of that great triumph, the 
other at Patras, a site most convenient for the Italian trade. In both 
cases the numbers of the Roman colonists were augmented by the 
compulsory immigration of the Greeks who inhabited the neighbouring 
cities and villages. This measure had the bad effect of increasing the 
depopulation of the surrounding country, but it imparted immediate 
prosperity to both Patras and Nikopolis, and the factories of the 
former gave employment to numbers of women, while the celebration 
of the "Aktian games" at the latter colony attracted sight-seers from 
other places. Augustus, as Octavian was now called, made an important 
change in the administration of Greece, separating it from the Mace- 



THE ROMANS IN GREECE 7 

donian command, with which it had hitherto been combined, and 
forming it in 27 B.C. into a separate senatorial province of Achaia, 
which was practically identical with the boundaries of the Greek 
kingdom before 1912, and of which Caesar's recently founded colony 
of Corinth was made the capital. But this restriction of the limits of 
the province did not affect the liberties of the different communities, 
though here and there Augustus altered their respective jurisdictions. 
Thus, in order to give Nikopolis a share in the Amphiktyonic Council, 
he modified the composition of that ancient body, and he enfranchised 
the Free Laconians who inhabited the central promontory of the 
Peloponnese, from Sparta; thus founding the autonomy which that 
rugged region has so often enjoyed 1 . But Athens and Sparta both 
continued to be "allies of Rome," Augustus made a Spartan Prince 
of the Lacedaemonians, and honoured them by his own presence at 
their public meals. If he forbade the Athenians to sell the honour of 
citizenship, he allowed himself to be initiated in the Eleusinian mysteries, 
and his friend, Agrippa, presented Athens with a new theatre. As a 
proof of their loyalty and gratitude, the Athenians dedicated a temple 
on the Akropolis "to Augustus and Rome," a large fragment of which 
may still be seen, and erected a statue of Agrippa, the pedestal of 
which is still standing in a perilous position at the approach to the 
Propylaea. It was in further honour of the master of the Roman world, 
that an aqueduct was constructed from the Klepsydra fountain to 
the Tower of the Winds, which the Syrian Andronikos had built at 
a somewhat earlier period of the Roman domination. The adjoining 
gate of Athena Archegetis was raised out of money provided by Caesar 
and Augustus, a number of friendly princes proposed to complete the 
temple of Olympian Zeus, while an inscription still preserves the 
generosity of another ruler, Herod, King of the Jews, towards the home 
of Greek culture. 

The land now enjoyed a long period of peace, and began to recover 
from the effects of the civil wars. A further boon was the transference 
of Achaia from the jurisdiction of the Senate to that of the Emperor 
soon after the accession of Tiberius, who, whatever his private vices 
may have been, was most considerate in his treatment of the provincials. 
He sternly repressed attempts at extortion, kept his governors in office 
for long terms, and, when an earthquake injured the city of Aigion 
on the gulf of Corinth, excused the citizens from the payment of taxes 
for three years. The restriction of the much-abused right of asylum 

1 Paparregopoulos, 'laropla toO 'EWriPiKov'EOvovs (ed. 4), 11. 440, inclines however 
to the view that their enfranchisement was of earlier date. 



8 THE ROMANS IN GREECE 

in various temples, such as that of Poseidon on the island of Tenos, 
and the delimitation of the Messenian and Lacedaemonian boundary, 
showed the interest of the Roman Government in Greek affairs; and 
the cult of the Imperial family, which was now developed in Greece, 
was perhaps due to gratitude no less than to the natural obsequience 
of a conquered race. The visit of the Emperor's nephew, Germanicus, 
to Athens delighted the Athenians and scandalised Roman officialdom 
by the Imperial traveller's disregard of etiquette; and it was insinuated 
by a prejudiced Roman even at that early period that these voluble 
burgesses, who talked so much about their past history, were not 
really the descendants of the ancient Greeks, but " the offscourings of 
the nations." So deep was the impression made by the courtesy of 
Germanicus that, several years later, an impostor, who pretended to 
be his son Drusus, found a ready following in Greece, which he traversed 
from the Cyclades to Nikopolis. It became the custom, too, to banish 
distinguished Romans, who had incurred the Emperor's displeasure, 
to an iEgean island, and Amorgos, Kythnos, Seriphos, and Gyaros 
were the equivalent of Botany Bay. The last two islets in particular 
were regarded with intense horror, and Juvenal has selected them as 
types of the worst punishment that could befall one of his countrymen 1 . 
Caligula, less moderate than Tiberius in his treatment of the Greeks, 
carried off the famous statue of Eros from Thespiae, for which his 
unaccomplished plan of cutting the Isthmus of Corinth was no compensa- 
tion. Claudius restored the stolen statue, and in 44 a.d. handed over 
the province of Achaia to the Senate — an arrangement which, with 
one brief interval, continued to be the practice of the Roman Govern- 
ment for the future. Meanwhile, alike under Senatorial and Imperial 
administration, the Greeks had acquired Roman tastes and had even 
adopted in many cases Roman names. If old-fashioned Romans 
complained that Rome had become "a Greek city," where glib Hellenic 
freedmen had the ear of the Emperor and starving Greeklings were 
ready to practise any and every profession, the conservatives in Greece 
lamented the introduction of such peculiarly Roman sports as the 
gladiatorial shows, of which the remains of the Roman amphitheatre 
at Corinth are a memorial. The conquering and the conquered races 
had reacted on one another; the Romans had become more literary; 
the Greeks had become more material. 

It was at this period, about 54 a.d., that an event occurred which 
profoundly modified the future of the Greek race. In, or a little before, 

1 Juvenal, 1. 73, x. 170. Tacitus, Annates, II. 53-55, 85; in. 38, 63, 69; iv. 13, 
30, 43; v. 10. 



THE ROMANS IN GREECE 9 

that year St Paul arrived at Athens, and, stirred by the idolatry of 
the city, delivered his famous speech in the midst of the Areopagos. 
The unvarnished narrative of the Acts of the Apostles does not disguise 
the failure of the great teacher's first attempt to convert the argumen- 
tative Greeks, to whom the new gospel seemed " foolishness." But 
"Dionysios the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris, and others 
with them," believed, thus forming the small beginnings of the Church 
which grew up there in later days. From Athens the Apostle proceeded 
to Corinth, where he stayed "a year and six months." The capital 
of Achaia and mart of Greece was a fine field for his missionary labours. 
The Roman colony, which had now been in existence almost a century, 
had become the home of commerce and the luxury which usually 
accompanies it. The superb situation, commanding the two seas, had 
attracted a cosmopolitan population, including many Jews, and the 
vices of the East and the West seemed to meet on the Isthmus — the 
Port Said of the Roman Empire. We may trace in the language of the 
two Epistles, which the Apostle addressed to the Corinthians later on, 
the main characteristics of the seat of Roman rule in Greece. The 
allusions to the fights with wild beasts, to the Isthmian games, to the 
long hair of the Corinthian dandies, to the easy virtue of the Corinthian 
women, all show what was the daily life of the most flourishing city 
of Greece in the middle of the first century. Yet even at Corinth many 
were persuaded by the arguments of the tent-maker, and a Christian 
community was founded at the port of Kenchreae on the Saronic 
Gulf. At the outset the converts were of humble origin, like "the 
house of Stephanas, the first fruits of Achaia"; but Gaius, Tertius, 
Quartus, and "Erastus, the chamberlain of the city," were persons 
of better position. That a man like Gallio, the brother of Seneca the 
philosopher and uncle of Lucan the poet, a man whom the other great 
poet of the day, Statius, has described as "sweetness" itself, was at 
that time governor of Achaia, shows the importance attached by the 
Romans to their Greek province. St Paul had not the profound classical 
learning of the governor's talented family, but the two Epistles to 
the Thessalonians, which he wrote during this first stay at Corinth, 
have conferred an undying literary interest on the capital of Roman 
Greece. Silas and Timotheus joined the Apostle at that place; and 
after his departure the learned Alexandrian, Apollos, carried on the 
work of Christianity among the Corinthians. But the germs of those 
theological parties, which were destined later on to divide the Greek 
Christians, had already been planted in the congenial soil of Achaia. 
The Christian community of Corinth, with the fatal tendency to faction 



io THE ROMANS IN GREECE 

which has ever marked the Hellenic race, was soon split up into sections, 
which followed, one St Paul, another Apollos, another the supposed 
injunctions of St Peter, another the simple faith of Christ. Even women, 
and that, too, unveiled, like the Laises of Corinth, had taken upon 
themselves to speak at Christian gatherings, and drinking and the 
other sensual crimes of that luxurious city had proved temptations 
too strong for some of the new converts. This state of things pro- 
voked the two Epistles to the Corinthians and the second visit of the 
Apostle to the then Greek capital, where he remained three months, 
writing on this occasion also two Epistles from Greece — that to the 
Romans and that to the Galatians. For the sake of the greater security 
which the land route afforded, he returned to Asia through Northern 
Greece, accompanied among others by St Luke, whose traditional 
connection with Greece may be traced in the wax figure of the 
Virgin, said to be his work, in the monastery of Megaspelaeon, 
and in the much later Roman tomb venerated as his, at Thebes. 
With the exception of his delay at Fair Havens on the south coast 
of Crete, we are not told by the writer of the Acts that St Paul 
ever set foot on Greek territory again; but he left Titus in that 
island "to ordain elders in every city," and contemplated spending 
a winter at Nikopolis. A tradition, unsupported, however, by good 
evidence, has been preserved to the effect that he was liberated from 
his Roman imprisonment, and it has been supposed that he employed 
part of the time that remained before his death in revisiting Corinth 
and Crete. His "kinsmen," Jason and Sosipater, bishops of Tarsus 
and Ikonium, preached the Word at Corfu, where one of them was 
martyred, and where one of the two oldest churches of the island 
still preserves their names 1 . The Greek journey of the pagan philosopher, 
Apollonios of Tyana, who tried to restore the ancient life of Hellas and 
to check the Romanising tendencies of the age, took place only a few 
years after the first appearance of the Apostle of the Gentiles in Greece. 
Another visitor of a very different kind next arrived in the classic 
land. Nero had already displayed his taste for the fine arts by despatch- 
ing an emissary to Greece with the object of collecting statues for the 
adornment of his palace and capital. Delphi, Olympia and Athens, 
where, in the phrase of a contemporary satirist, "it was easier to meet 
a god than a man," furnished an ample booty, and the Thespians again 
lost, this time for ever, the statue of Eros. But Nero was not content 
with the sculpture of Greece; he yearned to display his manifold 
talents before a Greek audience, "the only one," as he said, "worthy 
1 Mustoxidi, Delle Cose Corciresi, pp. 403, 404, xi. 



THE ROMANS IN GREECE n 

of himself and his accomplishments." Accordingly, in 66, he crossed 
over to Kassopo in Corfu, and began his theatrical tour by singing 
before the altar of Zeus there. Such was the zeal of the Imperial pot- 
hunter, that he commanded all the national games to be celebrated 
in the same year, so that he might have the satisfaction of winning 
prizes at them all in the same tour. In order to exhibit his musical 
gifts, he ordered the insertion of a new item in the time-honoured 
programme at Olympia, where he built himself a house, and at Corinth 
broke the Isthmian rules by contending in both tragedy and comedy. 
As a charioteer he eclipsed all previous performances by driving ten 
horses abreast, upsetting his car and still receiving the prize from the 
venal judges; as a victor, he had the effrontery to proclaim his own 
victory, and the number of his wreaths might have done credit to a 
royal funeral. In return for their compliance, the Greeks were informed 
by the voice of the Emperor himself on the day of the Isthmian games 
that they were once more free from the jurisdiction of the Senate and 
exempt from the payment of taxes 1 . The name of freedom and the 
practical advantage of fiscal immunity appealed with force to the 
patriotic and commercial sides of the Greek character, and outweighed 
the extortions of the Emperor and his suite to such a degree that 
Nero became a popular hero, in whose honour medals were struck 
and statues erected. To signalise yet further his stay in Greece, he 
bade the long projected canal to be dug across the Isthmus. This 
time the work was actually begun, and a prominent philosopher, who 
had incurred the Imperial displeasure, was seen digging away with 
a gang of other convicts. Nero himself dug the first sod with a golden 
spade, and carried away the first spadefuls of earth in a basket on his 
shoulders. But the task, of which traces may still be seen, was soon 
abandoned, and the dangers which threatened his throne recalled 
the Emperor to Italy. But first he consulted the Oracle of Delphi, 
which fully maintained its ancient reputation for obscurity and 
accuracy, but was bidden henceforth to be dumb. The two most 
celebrated seats of Greek antiquity, Athens and Sparta, he left, however, 
unvisited — Sparta, because he disapproved of its institutions; Athens, 
because he, the matricide, feared the vengeance of the Furies, whose 
fabled shrine was beneath the Areopagos 2 . 

The civil war, which raged in Italy between the death of Nero and 
the accession of Vespasian, had little influence upon Greece, except that 
it gave an adventurer, who bore a striking resemblance to the late 

1 In 1888 an inscription, containing this proclamation, was found at the 
Boeotian Karditza. Karolides, note 31 to Paparregopoulos, op. cit. 11. 448. 

2 Suetonius, Nero, 19, 22-24. 



12 THE ROMANS IN GREECE 

Emperor and shared his musical tastes, the opportunity of personating 
him. But this pretender, who had made himself master of the island 
of Kythnos, was soon suppressed 1 , and Vespasian, as he visited Greece 
on his way from the East to Rome, could calmly study the condition 
of that country. The stern old soldier, who, in spite of his Greek culture, 
had fallen asleep during Nero's recitations, had no sympathy with 
Greek antiquities, and maintained that the Hellenes did not know how 
to use their newly-restored freedom, which had involved the im- 
poverished Roman exchequer in the loss of the Greek taxes. He 
accordingly restored the organisation and fiscal arrangements which 
had been in force before Nero's proclamation, only that the province 
of Achaia under the Flavian dynasty no longer included Thessaly, 
Epeiros, and Akarnania. For a long time Greece had no political history ; 
but we know that Domitian, like Tiberius, was as considerate towards 
the provincials as he was tyrannical to the Roman nobles; that he 
cherished a special cult for the goddess Athena; and that he deigned 
to allow himself to be nominated as Archon Eponymos of Athens for 
the year 93 — an instance which shows the continuance of an institution 
which had been founded nearly eight centuries earlier. Trajan's direct 
connection with Greece was limited to a stay at Athens on the way 
to the Parthian war, but he counted among his friends the most 
celebrated Greek author of that age, the famous Plutarch, who passed 
a great part of his time in the small Boeotian town of Chaironeia, where 
his so-called "chair," obviously the end seat of one of the rows in the 
theatre, may still be seen in the little church. Like Polybios in the 
first period of the Roman conquest, Plutarch served as a link to unite 
the Greeks and their masters. At once an Hellenic patriot and an 
admirer of Rome, he combined love of the past independence of his 
country with a shrewd sense of the advantages of Roman rule in the 
existing circumstances. True, the Greece of his time was very different 
from that of the Golden Age. While the single city of Megara had sent 
3000 heavy armed men to the battle of Platsea, the whole province 
of Achaia could not raise a larger number in his days. Depopulation 
was going on apace ; Euboea was almost desolate, and the inland towns 
of the mainland were mostly losing their trade, which was gravitating 
to the coasts. The expenditure of the Greek taxes at Rome led to the 
want of funds for public objects, and the Roman system of making 
immunity from taxation a principle of Roman citizenship divided the 
Greeks into two classes, the rich and the poor. The former led luxurious 
lives, built expensive houses, added acre to acre, and fell into the 

1 Tacitus, Histories, 11. 8, 9. 



THE ROMANS IN GREECE 13 

hands of the foreign money-lenders of Corinth or Patras. The latter 
sank lower and lower in the social scale, and it was noticed that, while 
the Greek women had become more beautiful, the classic grace of 
Hellenic manhood had declined. But Greece continued to exercise 
her perennial charm on the cultured traveller. In spite of the Thessalian 
brigands, tourists journeyed to see the Vale of Tempe, and a race of 
loquacious guides arose, whose business it was to explain the history 
of Delphi. Men of the highest rank were proud to be made Athenian 
citizens, and one of them, Antiochos Philopappos, grandson of the last 
king of Kommagene, was commemorated in the last years of Trajan 
by the monument which is to-day one of the most conspicuous in all 
Athens. 

The reign of Hadrian was a very happy period for the Greeks. 
A lover of both ancient and contemporary Hellas, which he visited 
several times, the Imperial traveller left his mark all over the country. 
We may gather from Pausanias, whose own wanderings began at this 
period, that there was scarcely a single Greek city of importance which 
had not received some benefit from this Emperor. Coins of Patras 
describe him as "the restorer of Achaia," Megara regarded him as her 
"second founder," Mantineia had to thank him for the restoration of 
her classical name. Alive to the want of through communication 
between the Peloponnese and Central Greece, he built a safe road 
along the Skironian cliffs, where now the tourist looks down on the 
azure sea from the train that takes him from Megara to Corinth. He 
provided the latter city with water by means of an aqueduct from 
Lake Stymphalos, and began the aqueduct at Athens which was 
completed by his successor. But this was only one of his many Athenian 
improvements. His affection for Athens, where he lived as a Greek 
among Greeks and had held the office of Archon Eponymos, like 
Domitian, led him to assign the revenues of Cephalonia to the Athenian 
treasury, to regulate the oil-trade, that important branch of Attic 
commerce, his edict about which may still be read on the gate of Athena 
Archegetis, to repair the theatre of Dionysos, and to present the city 
with a Pantheon, a library, contained within the Stoa which still bears 
his name and of which part is still standing, and a gymnasium. He 
also built there a temple of Hera, and completed that of Zeus Olympios, 
which had been begun by Peisistratos more than six centuries before 
and had provided Sulla with spoil. The still standing columns of this 
magnificent building formed the nucleus of the "new Athens," which 
he founded outside "the old city of Theseus," and to which the Arch 
of Hadrian, as the inscriptions upon it show, was intended as the 



14 THE ROMANS IN GREECE 

entrance. With another of his foundations, the temple of Zeus Pan- 
hellenios, was connected the institution of the Panhellenic festival, 
which represented the unity of the Greek race and, like the more ancient 
games, had a religious basis. Hadrian called into existence a synod 
of "Panhellenes," composed of members of the Greek communities 
on both sides of the iEgean, who met at Athens and whose treasurer 
was styled " Hellenotamias," or "steward of the Hellenes" — a title 
borrowed from the classical Confederacy of Delos. In name, indeed, 
the golden age of Athens seemed to have returned, and the enthusiastic 
Athenians heaped one honour after another upon the head of the great 
Philhellene. They adored him as a god, and the President of the 
Panhellenic synod became his priest ; his statues rose all over the city, 
his name was bestowed upon one of the months, a thirteenth tribe 
was formed and called after him, and the thirteen wedges of the 
repaired theatre of Dionysos contained each a bust of Hadrian; even 
an unworthy favourite of the Emperor was dubbed a deity with the 
same ease that we convert a charitable tradesman into a peer. 

Hadrian's two immediate successors continued his Philhellenic 
policy. Antoninus Pius erected new buildings for the use of the visitors 
to that fashionable health-resort, the Hieron of Epidauros; and in 
graceful recognition of the legend, according to which the founders 
of the first settlement on the Palatine were emigrants from Pallantion 
in Arkadia, raised that village to the rank of a city, with the privileges 
of self-government and immunity from taxes. Marcus Aurelius seemed 
to have realised the Utopian ideal of Plato, that philosophers should 
be kings or kings philosophers. The Imperial author of the Meditations 
wrote in Greek, had sat at the feet of Greek teachers, and greatly 
admired the products of the Greek intellect. But his reign was disturbed 
by warlike alarms, and it is noteworthy that at this period the first 
of those barbarian tribes from the North, which inflicted so much 
injury upon Greece in later centuries, penetrated into that country. 
The Greeks showed, however, that they had not in the long years of 
peace, forgotten how to defend themselves. At Elateia the Kostobokes 
— such was the name of the marauders — received a check from a local 
force and withdrew beyond the frontier 1 . In spite of his distant cam- 
paigns, Marcus Aurelius found time to visit Athens, restored the temple 
at Eleusis, was initiated into the Eleusinian mysteries, and founded 
in 176 the Athenian University. It was, indeed, the heyday of Academic 
life, and Athens was under the Antonines the happy hunting-ground 
of professors, who received salaries from the Imperial exchequer, and 

1 Pausanias, x. 34. 



THE ROMANS IN GREECE 15 

enjoyed the privilege of exemption from costly public duties. One 
of their number, Herodes Atticus of Marathon, has, by his splendid 
gifts to the city, perpetuated his fame to our own time. His vast 
wealth, united to his renown as a professor of rhetoric, not only made 
him the most prominent man in Athens, where he held the post of 
President of the new Panhellenic synod, but gained him the Roman 
consulship, the friendship of Hadrian, and the honour of instructing 
the early years of Marcus Aurelius. When Verus, the colleague of the 
latter in the Imperial dignity, visited Athens, it was as the guest of 
the sophist of Marathon; when the University was founded, it was 
Herodes who selected the professors. The charm of his villas at Kephisia, 
then, as now, the suburban pleasaunce of the dust-choked Athenians, 
and in his native village, has been extolled by one of his pupils, while 
the Odeion which still bears his name was erected by him to the memory 
of his second wife 1 . He also restored the Stadion, which had been built 
by Lykourgos about five centuries earlier, and within its precincts 
his body was interred. There still exist remains of his temple of Fortune, 
a goddess of whom he had varied experiences. For his vast wealth and 
the sense of their own inferiority caused the Athenians to revile their 
benefactor, and as many of them owed him money, he was naturally 
regarded as their enemy until his death. Many other Greek cities 
benefited by his liberality; he built a theatre at Corinth and restored 
the bathing establishment at Thermopylae; and he was even accused 
of making life too easy for his fellow-countrymen because he provided 
Olympia with pure water by means of an aqueduct, of which the 
Exedra is still visible. 

It was at this period, too, that the traveller Pausanias wrote his 
famous Description of Greece, a work which gives a faithful account 
of that country as it struck his observant eyes. Compared with what 
it had been in Strabo's time, the land seemed prosperous in the age 
of the Antonines, though some districts had never recovered from the 
ravages of the Roman wars. Much of Bceotia was still in the desolate 
state in which Sulla had left it; iEtolia had not been inhabited since 
Octavian carried off its population to Nikopolis; the lower town of 
Thebes was quite deserted, and the ancient name was then, as now, 
confined to the ancient Akropolis, while the sole occupants of Delos 
were the Athenians sent to guard the temple. But Delphi was in a 
flourishing condition, the Roman colonies of Patras and Corinth 
continued to prosper, and among the ancient cities of the Peloponnese, 
Argos and Sparta still held the foremost rank, while the much more 

1 Ibid. vii. 20. 



16 THE ROMANS IN GREECE 

modern Megalopolis, upon which such high hopes had been built, 
shared the fate of Tiryns and Mycenae. Moreover, despite the robbery 
of statues by Romans from Mummius to Nero, Pausanias found a vast 
number of ancient masterpieces all over the country, and even the 
paintings, with which Polygnotos had adorned the Stoa Poikile at 
Athens, were still visible. As for the relics of classical lore and pre- 
historic legend, they abounded in every city that could boast of a 
hero, and the remark of Cicero was as true in the time of Pausanias, 
that in a Greek town one came upon the traces of history at every 
step. In the second century, too, good Doric was still spoken by the 
Messenians; and, if the pure Attic of Plato had been somewhat cor- 
rupted at Athens by the presence of many foreign students, it was 
still preserved in all its glory by the peasants of Attica. The writings 
of Lucian at this period show how even a Syrian could, by long residence 
at Athens, acquire a masterly gift of Attic prose. The illusion of a 
classical revival was further kept up by the continuance of ancient 
institutions, even though they had lost the reality of power. Pausanias 
mentions the existence, and describes the composition, of the Amphik- 
tyonic Council in his time, when it was still the guardian of the Delphic 
oracle. The Court of the Areopagos preserved its ancient forms at Athens ; 
the Ephors and other Spartan authorities had survived the disapproval 
of Nero; the Confederacy of the Free Laconians, though reduced in 
size, still included eighteen cities; Bceotia and Phokis enjoyed the 
privilege of local assemblies. The great games still attracted competitors 
and spectators; the great oracles still found some believers, who 
consulted them; and the old religion, if it had little moral force, was, 
at least in externals, still that of the majority, though philosophers 
regretted it and enlightened persons like Pausanias inclined to a rational 
interpretation of the myths, and told stories of bribes administered 
to the Pythian priestess. Christianity had made little progress in 
Greece during the three generations that had elapsed since the last 
visit of St Paul. Mention is, indeed, made by the Christian historian, 
Eusebius, of large communities at Larissa, Sparta, and in Crete; but 
Corinth still remained the chief seat of the new faith, and the Corinthian 
Christians still retained that factious spirit which St Paul had rebuked. 
Athens, as the home of philosophy, was little favourable to the sim- 
plicity of the Gospel; but the celebrated Athenian philosopher, Aristides, 
was not only converted to Christianity, but presented an Apology for 
that creed to Hadrian during his residence in the city; while another 
Athenian, Hyginos, was chosen Pope in the age of the Antonines. 
Anacletos, the second (or, in other lists, fourth) Bishop of Rome after 






THE ROMANS IN GREECE 17 

St Peter, is said to have been a native of Athens, and a third, Xystos, 
perished, as Pope Sixtus II, in the persecution of Valerian. The tradition 
that Dionysios the Areopagite, became first Bishop of Athens 1 , and 
there gained the crown of martyrdom, and that St Andrew suffered 
death at Patras, has been cherished, and in the case of Patras has had 
a considerable historical influence. 

With the death of Marcus Aurelius the series of Philhellenic 
Emperors ended, and the Roman civil wars in the last decade of the 
second century occupied the attention of the Empire. Without taking 
an active part in the struggle, Greece submitted to the authority of 
Pescennius Niger, one of the unsuccessful candidates, and this temporary 
error of judgment may have induced the Emperor Septimius Severus 
to inflict a punishment upon Athens, the cause of which is usually 
ascribed to a slight which he suffered during his student days there. 
His successor, Caracalla, by extending the Roman citizenship to all 
free inhabitants of the Empire, gave the Greeks an opportunity, of 
which they were not slow to avail themselves. From that moment the 
doors of the Roman administration were thrown open to all the races 
of the Roman dominions, and the nimble-witted Greeks so obtained 
a predominance in that department such as they acquired much later 
under Turkish rule. From that moment, too, they considered themselves 
as "Romans," and the name stuck to them long after the Roman 
Empire had passed away. But Caracalla, while he thus made them 
the equals of the Romans in the eyes of the law, increased the taxes 
which it had long been the privilege of Roman citizens to pay, while 
he continued to exact those which the provincials had paid previous 
to their admission to the citizenship. The reductions made by his 
successors, Macrinus and Alexander Severus, were to a large extent 
neutralised by the great depreciation of the currency, which began 
under Caracalla and continued for the next half century. The Govern- 
ment paid its creditors in depreciated money, but took good care that 
the taxes were paid in good gold pieces. The worst results followed: 
officials were tempted, like the modern Turkish Pashas, to recoup 
themselves by extortion for the diminution in their salaries; trade 
with foreign countries became uncertain, even the specially thriving 
Greek industries of marble and purple dye must have been affected, 
and possessors of good coin buried it in the ground. Amid this dismal 
scene of decay, Athens continued to preserve her reputation as a 
University town. Though no longer patronised by cultured Emperors, 
she still attracted numbers of pupils to her lecture rooms; and the name 

1 Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 111. 4; iv. 23; Liber Pontificalis, 1. 125, 131, 155. 

M. 2 



18 THE ROMANS IN GREECE 

of Longinus, author of the celebrated treatise, On the Sublime, adorns 
the scanty Athenian annals of this period. That the drama was not 
neglected is clear from the inscription which records the restoration 
of the theatre of Dionysos by the Archon Phaidros during this period. 
But the philosophers and playgoers of Athens were soon to be roused 
by the alarm of an invasion such as their city had not experienced for 
many a generation. 

Hitherto, with the unimportant exception of the raid of the Kosto- 
bokes as far as Elateia, Greece had never been submitted to the terrors 
of a barbarian inroad since the Roman Conquest. The Roman Empire 
had protected Achaia from foreign attack, and even the least friendly 
of the Emperors had allowed no one to plunder the art treasures of 
the Greek cities except their own occasional emissaries. Hence the 
Greece of the middle of the third century preserved in many respects 
the same external appearance as that of the same country four hundred 
years earlier. But this blessing of peace, which Rome had conferred 
upon the Greeks, had had the bad effect of training up a nation which 
was a stranger to the arts of war. Caracalla, indeed, had raised a couple 
of Spartan regiments ; but the local militia of the Greek cities had had 
no experience of fighting, and the fortifications of the country had been 
allowed to fall into ruin. Such was the state of the Greek defences 
when in 250 the Goths crossed the Balkans and entered what is now 
South Bulgaria. Measures were at once taken to defend the Greek 
provinces. Claudius, afterwards Emperor, was ordered to occupy the 
historic pass of Thermopylae, but his forces were small and most of 
them had been newly enrolled. The death of the Emperor Decius, 
fighting against the Goths, increased the alarm, and the siege of Salonika 
thoroughly startled the Greeks. No sooner had Valerian mounted the 
Imperial throne, than they signalised his reign by repairing the walls 
of Athens, which had been neglected since the siege of Sulla 1 , and it 
was perhaps at the same time that a fort and a new gate were erected 
for the defence of the Akropolis 2 . As a second line of defence the 
fortifications across the Isthmus were restored, and occupied, just as 
by Peloponnesian troops of old on the approach of the Persian host. 
But these preparations did not long preserve the country from the 
attacks of the Goths. Distracted by the rival claims of self-styled 

1 The passages of Zosimos (1. 29), who says 'kdrfvauoi /jxv tov relxovs itre/xeXovpro 
jUijSe^tay, il-dre 2tf\Xas tovto 8i4<p6eipev, dljiwdfrros (ppovrldos, and of Zonaras (xn. 23) 
seem to support Finlay's view that this was not a new wall. Paparregopoulos, op. 
cit., 11. 490, agrees with it. 

* Hertzberg: Die Geschichte Griechenlands unter der Herrschaft der Rotner, 
ia. 79. 



THE ROMANS IN GREECE 19 

Emperors, Valens in Achaia, and Piso in Thessaly, who had availed 
themselves of the general confusion to declare their independence, 
and visited by a terrible plague which followed in the wake of the Roman 
armies, the Greeks soon had the Gothic hosts upon them. A first raid 
was repulsed, only to be repeated in 267 on a far larger scale. This time 
the Goths and fierce Heruli arrived by sea, and, after ravaging the 
storied island of Skyros, captured Argos, Sparta, and the lower city 
of Corinth. Athens herself was surprised by the enemy, before the 
Emperor Gallienus, whose admiration for the ancient city had been 
shown by his initiation into the Eleusinian mysteries and his acceptance 
of the Athenian citizenship with the office of Archon Eponymos, could 
send troops to her assistance. But at this crisis in her history, Athens 
showed herself worthy of her glorious past. At that time one of her 
leading citizens was the historian Dexippos, whose writings on the 
Scythian wars, preserved now only in fragments, were favourably 
compared by a Byzantine critic with those of Thucydides 1 . But 
Dexippos, if a less caustic writer, was a better general, than the historian 
of the Peloponnesian war. He assembled a body of Athenians, ad- 
dressed them in a fiery harangue, a fragment of which still exists 2 , 
and reminded them that the event of battles was usually decided 
by bravery rather than by numbers. Marshalling his troops in the 
Olive Grove, he accustomed them little by little to the noise of the 
Gothic war cries and the sight of the Gothic warriors. The arrival of 
a Roman fleet effected a timely diversion, and the barbarians, taken 
between two hostile forces, abandoned Athens and succumbed to the 
Emperor's arms on their march towards the North. Fortunately they 
seem to have spared the monuments of the city during their occupation, 
and we are told that the Athenian libraries were saved from the flames 
by the deep policy of a shrewd Goth, who thought that the pursuit of 
literature would unfit the Greeks for the art of war 3 . Dexippos, who 
proved by his own example the compatibility of learning with strategy, 
has been commemorated in an inscription, which praises his merits as 
a writer, but is silent about his fame as a maker, of history — known 
to us from a single sentence of the Latin biographer of Gallienus 4 . Yet 
at that moment Greece needed men of action rather than men of 
letters. For another Gothic invasion took place two years later, and 
from Thessaly to Crete the vessels of the barbarians harried the coasts. 
But the interval had been used to put the defences of the cities into 

1 'AXXos fierd twos <ra<f>r)veias Qovicv8l8r]S, fidXtffrd ye iv rah 2/cu0tKats l<rroplais. — 
Photios, Cod. 82. 

* Historici GrcBci Minores, I. 186-89. 

8 Zonaras, xn. 26. * Trebellius Pollio, Gallien. 13. 

2 — 2 



20 THE ROMANS IN GREECE 

repair; and such was the ill-success of the invaders, who could not 
take a single town, that they did not renew the attack. For more 
than a century the land was spared the horrors of a fresh Gothic war. 
The great victory of the Emperor Claudius II over the Goths at Nish 
and the abandonment of what is now Roumania to them by his suc- 
cessor Aurelian secured the peace of Achaia. Although the three 
invasions had resulted in the loss of a considerable amount of moveable 
property and of many slaves, who had either been carried off as captives 
or had escaped from their Greek masters to the Gothic ranks, the 
recovery of Athens and Corinth seems to have been so rapid that seven 
years after the last raid they were among the nine cities of the Empire 
to which the Roman Senate wrote announcing the election of the 
Emperor Tacitus and bidding them direct any appeals from the Pro- 
consul to the Prefect of the City of Rome — a clear proof of their civic 
importance. 

But the Greeks soon looked for the fountain of justice elsewhere 
than on the banks of the Tiber. With the reign of Diocletian began 
the practice of removing the seat of Government from Rome, and that 
Emperor usually resided at Nicomedia. His establishment of four 
great administrative divisions of the Empire really separated the two 
Eastern, in which Greece was comprehended, from the two Western, 
and prepared the way for the foundation of Constantinople by Constan- 
tine and the ultimate division of the Eastern and Western Empires. 
Diocletian's further increase in the number of the provinces, several 
of which were grouped under one of the Dioceses, into which the Empire 
was split up for administrative purposes, had the double effect of 
altering the size of the Greek provinces, and of scattering them over 
several Dioceses. Thus Achaia, Thessaly, "Old" Epeiros (as the region 
round Nikopolis was now called), and Crete, formed four separate 
provinces included in the Mcesian Diocese, the administrative centre 
of which was Sirmium, the modern Mitrovitz. The Mgean islands, on 
the other hand, composed one of the provinces of the Asian Diocese. 
The province of Achaia h; d, however, the privilege of being administered 
by a Proconsul, who was an official of more exalted rank than the great 
majority of provincial governors. Side by side with these arrangements, 
the currency reform of Diocletian and the edict by which he fixed the 
highest price of commodities cannot fail to have affected the trade 
of Greece, while his love of building benefited the Greek marble quarries. 

After the abdication of Diocletian the Christians of Greece were 
visited by another of those persecutions, of which they had had 
experience under the Emperor Decius half a century earlier. But on 



THE ROMANS IN GREECE 21 

neither occasion were the martyrdoms numerous, except in Crete, and 
it would appear that Christianity in Greece was less prosperous, or less 
progressive, than the same creed in the great cities of the East, where 
the victims were far more numerous. Constantine's toleration made 
him as popular with the Greek Christians as his marked respect for 
the Athenian University made him with the Greek philosophers, and 
it is, therefore, no wonder that in his final struggle against his rival, 
Licinius, he was able to collect a Greek fleet, which mustered in the 
harbour of the Piraeus, then once more an important station, and 
forced for him the passage of the Dardanelles. But the reign of 
Constantine, although he found a biographer in the young Athenian 
historian, Praxagoras 1 , was not conducive to the national development 
of Greece. Adopting the administrative system of Diocletian, he 
continued the practice of dividing the Empire into four great "Pre- 
fectures," as they were now called, each of which was subdivided into 
Dioceses, and the latter again into provinces. The four Greek provinces 
of Theasaly, Achaia (including some of the Cyclades and some of the 
Ionian Islands), Old Epeiros (including Corfu and Ithake), and Crete 
(of which Gortyna was the capital), formed part of the Diocese of 
Macedonia in the Prefecture of Illyricum, whereas the rest of the 
Greek islands composed a distinct province of the Asian Diocese in 
the Prefecture of the Orient. Thus, the Greek race continued to be 
split into fragments, while at the same time the levelling tendency 
of Constantine's administration gradually swept away those Greek 
municipal institutions, which had hitherto survived all changes, and 
thus the inhabitants of different parts of the country began to lose 
their peculiar characteristics. A few time-honoured vestiges of ancient 
Greek freedom existed for some time longer; thus the Areopagos 
and the Archons of Athens and the provincial assembly of Achaia 
may be traced on into the fifth century. But their place was taken 
by the new local senates, composed of so-called Decuriones, who 
were chosen from the richest landowners, and who had to collect, 
and were held personally responsible for, the amount of the land-tax. 
This onerous office was made hereditary, and there was no means of 
escaping it except by death or flight to a monastic cell; even a journey 
outside the country required a special permit from the governor, and 
the rich Decurio, like the mediaeval serf, was tied down to the land 
which he was so unfortunate as to own. Even an Irish landlord's lot 
seems happy compared with that of a Greek Decurio, nor was the 
provincial who escaped the unpleasant privilege of serving the State 
1 Historic* Graci Minores, 1. 438-40. 



22 THE ROMANS IN GREECE 

in that capacity greatly to be envied. The exaction of taxes became 
at once more stringent and more regular — a combination peculiarly 
objectionable to the Oriental mind — and the re-assessment of their 
burdens every fifteen years led the people to calculate time by the 
"Indictions," or edicts in which, with all the solemnity of purple 
ink, the Emperor fixed the amount of the imposts for this new cycle 
of taxation. That the ruler himself became conscious of the inequalities 
of his subjects' contributions was evident half a century later when 
Valentinian 1 allowed the citizens of each municipality to elect an 
official, styled Defensor, whose duty it was to defend his fellow-citizens 
before the Emperor against the fiscal exactions of the authorities. 

The transference of the capital to Constantinople, enormous as its 
ultimate results have proved to be, was at first a disadvantage to the 
inhabitants of Greece. We are accustomed to look on the centre of 
the Byzantine Empire as a largely Greek city, but it must be remembered 
that, at the outset, it was Roman in conception and that its language 
was Latin. Almost immediately, however, it began to drain Greece 
of its population, attracted by the prospects of work and the certainty 
of "bread and games" in the New Rome. In the days of Demosthenes 
Byzantium had been the granary of Athens; now Attica, always 
unproductive of wheat, began to find that Constantine's growing 
capital had to import bread-stuffs for its own use, and the Athenians 
were thankful for an annual grant of corn from the Emperor. The 
founder wanted, too, Greek works of art to adorn his city, and 427 
statues were placed in Sta Sophia alone; the Muses of Helikon were 
carried off to the palace of the Emperor; the serpent column, which 
the grateful Greeks had dedicated at Delphi after the battle of Plataea, 
was set up in the Hippodrome, where one of its three heads was struck 
off by the battle-axe of Mohammed II. 

The conversion of Constantine to Christianity had the natural 
effect of bringing within the Christian ranks those lukewarm pagans 
who took their religious views from the Emperor. But the com- 
parative immunity from persecution which the Christians of Greece 
had enjoyed under the pagan ascendancy led them to treat their 
opponents with the same mildness. There was no reaction, because 
there had been no revolution, and the devotees of the old and the 
new religion went on living peaceably side by side. The even greater 
temptation to the subtle Greek intellect to indulge in the wearisome 
Arian controversy, which so long convulsed a large part of the Church 
in the East, was rejected owing to the fortunate unanimity of the 
bishops who were sent from Greece to attend the Council of Nice. 



THE ROMANS IN GREECE 23 

Their strong and united opposition to the heresy of Alius was re-echoed 
by their flocks at home, and the Church, undivided on this crucial 
question, became more and more identified with the people. After 
Constantine's death the harmony between the pagans and the Christians 
was temporarily disturbed. Under Constantius II the public offerings 
ceased, the temples were closed, the oracles fell into disuse; under 
Julian the Apostate a final attempt was made to rehabilitate the 
ancient religion. Julian seemed, indeed, to the conservative party in 
Greece to have restored for two brief years the silver age of Hadrian, 
if not the golden age of Perikles. The jealousy of Constantius, by 
sending him in honourable exile to Athens, had made him an enthusiastic 
admirer of not only the literature but the creed of the old Hellenes. 
It was at that time that he abjured Christianity and was initiated into 
the Eleusinian mysteries, and when he took up arms against Constantius 
it was to the Corinthians, Lacedaemonians, and Athenians that he 
addressed Apologies for his conduct. These manifestoes, of which that 
to the Athenians is still extant among the writings of Julian, had such 
an effect upon the Greeks, flattered no doubt by such an attention, 
that they declared in his favour, and on his rival's death they had 
their reward. The temples were re-opened, the altars once more smoked 
with the offerings of the devout, the great games were revived, including 
the Aktian festival of Augustus, which had fallen into decline with 
the falling fortunes of Nikopolis. Julian restored that city and others 
like it, and the Argives did not appeal in vain for a rehearing of a 
wearisome law-suit with Corinth to an Emperor who was steeped to 
the lips in classic lore. At Athens he purged the University by excluding 
Christians from professorial chairs, Christian students were often con- 
verted, like the Emperor, by the genius of the place, and the University 
became the last refuge of Hellenism in Greece, when Julian's attempted 
restoration of the old order of things collapsed at his death. Throughout 
this period, indeed, the University of Athens was not only the chief 
intellectual centre of the Empire — for Rome had ceased, and the newly 
founded University of Constantinople had not yet begun, to attract 
the best intellects — but it was the all-absorbing institution of the city. 
Athenian trade had gone on decaying, and under Constans, the son 
of Constantine, the people of Athens were obliged to ask the Emperor 
for the grant of certain insular revenues, which he allowed them to 
devote to the purchase of provisions. So Athens was now solely a 
University town, and the ineradicable yearning of the Greeks for 
politics found vent, in default of a larger opening, in such academic 
struggles as the election of a professor or the merits of the rival corps 



24 THE ROMANS IN GREECE 

of students. These corps, each composed as a rule of students from the 
same district, kept Athens alive with their disputes, which sometimes 
degenerated into pitched battles calling for the intervention of the 
Roman governor from Corinth. So keen was the competition between 
them, that their agents were posted at the Piraeus to accost the sea- 
sick freshman as soon as he landed and enlist him in this or that corps. 
Each corps had its favourite professor, for whose class it obtained pupils, 
by force or argument, and whose lectures it applauded whenever the 
master brought out some fresh conceit or distorted the flexible Greek 
language into some new combination of words. The celebrated sophist 
Libanios, and the poetic divine, Gregory of Nazianzos, respectively the 
apologist and the censor of Julian, have left us a graphic sketch of 
the student life in their time at Athens, when the scarlet and gold 
garments of the lecturers and the gowns of their pupils mingled in the 
streets of the ancient city, which still deserved in this fourth century 
the proud title of "the eye of Greece." 

The triumph of paganism ceased with the death of Julian; but his 
successor Jovian, though he ordered the Church of the Virgin to be 
erected at Corfu out of the fragments of a heathen temple opposite 
the royal villa 1 , proclaimed universal toleration. His wise example 
was followed by Valentinian I, who repealed Julian's edict which had 
made the profession of paganism a test of professorial office at Athens, 
and allowed his subjects to approach heaven in what manner they 
pleased. The Greeks were specially exempted from the law forbidding 
nocturnal sacrifices because it would "make their life unendurable." 
The Eleusinian mysteries were permitted to be celebrated, and Athens 
continued to derive much profit from those festivals. It was fortunate 
for the Greeks that, at the partition of the Empire between him and 
Valens in 364, the Prefecture of Illyricum, which included the bulk 
of the Greek provinces, was joined to the Western half, and thus fell 
to his share. His reign marked the last stage of that peaceful develop- 
ment which had gone on in Greece since the Gothic invasion of the 
previous century. A few years after his death the Emperor Theodosius I 
publicly proclaimed the Catholic faith to be the established creed of 
the Empire, and proceeded to stamp out paganism with all the zeal 
of a Spaniard. The Oracle of Delphi was closed for ever, the temples 
were shut, and in 393 the Olympic games, which had been the rallying 
point of the Hellenic race for untold centuries, ceased to exist. As a 

1 A Greek inscription alluding to Jovian may still be read over the west 
door, but Mustoxidi {Delle Cose Corciresi, pp. 406-7) differs from Spon and 
Montfaucon in thinking that some other Jovian is meant. 



THE ROMANS IN GREECE 25 

token of their discontinuance the statue of Zeus, which had stood in 
the temple of the god at Olympia, was removed to Constantinople, 
and the time-honoured custom of reckoning time by the Olympiads 
was definitely replaced by the prosaic cycle of Indictions. Yet Athens 
still remained a bulwark of the old religion, and the preservation of 
that city from the great earthquake which devastated large parts of 
Greece in 375 was attributed to the miraculous protection of the hero 
Achilles, whose statue had been placed in the Parthenon by the 
venerable hierophant of the Eleusinian mysteries. 

But a worse evil than earthquakes was about to befall the Greeks. 
After more than a century's peace, the Goths crossed the Balkans 
and defeated the Emperor Valens in the battle of Adrianople. The 
Greek provinces, entrusted for their better defence to the strong arm 
of Theodosius, escaped for the moment with no further loss than that 
caused by a Gothic raid in the North and by the brigandage which 
is the natural result of every war in the Balkan Peninsula. But, on 
the death of that Emperor and the final division of the Roman Empire 
between his sons, Honorius and Arcadius, in 395, the Goths, under 
their great leader, Alaric, attacked the now divided Prefecture of 
Illyricum. The evil results of the complete separation of the Eastern 
from the Western Empire were at once felt. The Greek provinces, 
which had just been attached to the Eastern system, might have been 
saved from this incursion if the Western general, Stilicho, had been 
permitted by Byzantine jealousy to rout the Goths in Thessaly. As 
the arm of that great commander was thus arrested in the act of 
striking, Alaric not only was able to penetrate into Epeiros as far as 
Nikopolis, which at that time almost entirely belonged to St Jerome's 
friend, the devout Paula, but he marched over Pindos into Thessaly, 
defeated the local militia, and turned to the South upon Bceotia and 
Attica. The last earthquake had laid many of the fortifications in ruins, 
the Roman army of occupation was small, and its commander unwilling 
to imitate the conduct of Leonidas at Thermopylae. The monks facilitated 
the inroad of a Christian army. The famous fortifications of Thebes had 
been restored, but they did not check the course of the impetuous Goth, 
who, leaving them unassailed, went straight to Athens. A later pagan 
historian has invented the pleasing legend that Pallas Athena and the 
hero Achilles appeared to protect the city from the invaders. But the 
Goths, who were not only Christians but Arian heretics, would have 
been little influenced by such an apparition. Athens capitulated, and 
Alaric, who bade spare the holy sanctuaries of the Apostles when, 
fifteen years later, he entered Rome, abstained from destroying the 



26 THE ROMANS IN GREECE 

artistic treasures of which Athens was full. But the great temple of 
the mysteries at the town of Eleusis, and that town itself, so intimately 
associated with that ancient cult, were sacrificed either to the fanaticism 
of the Arian monks who followed the Gothic army, to the cupidity 
of the troops, or to both. The last heirophant seems to have perished 
with the shrine, of which he was the guardian, and a pagan apologist 
saw in his fall the manifest wrath of the gods, angry at the usurpation 
of that high office by one who did not belong to the sacred family of 
the Eumolpidae. Henceforth the Eleusinian mysteries ceased to exist, 
and the home of those great festivals is now a sorry Albanian village, 
where ruins still mark the work of the destroyer. Megara shared the 
fate of Eleusis, the Isthmus was left without defenders, and Corinth, 
Argos, and Sparta were sacked. Those who resisted were cut down, 
their wives carried off into slavery, their children made to serve a 
Gothic master. Even a philosopher died of a broken heart at the 
spectacle of this terrible calamity. Fortunately, Alaric's sojourn in the 
Peloponnese was shortened by the arrival of Stilicho with an army in 
the Gulf of torinth. The Goths withdrew to the fastnesses of Mount 
Pholoe, between Olympia and Patras, and it seemed as if Stilicho had 
only to draw his lines around them and then wait for hunger to do its 
work. But from some unexplained cause — perhaps a court intrigue at 
Constantinople, perhaps the negligence of the general — Alaric was 
allowed to escape over the Gulf of Corinth into Epeiros. After devastating 
that region he was rewarded by the Government of Constantinople 
with the office of Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial forces in the 
Eastern half of Illyricum, which comprised the scenes of his recent 
ravages. The principle of converting a brigand into a policeman has 
often proved successful, but there were probably many who shared the 
indignant feelings of the poet Claudian 1 at this sudden transformation 
of "the devastator of Achaia" into her protector. But Alaric could 
not rebuild the cities, which he had destroyed; he could not restore 
prosperity to the lands, which he had ravaged. We have ample evidence 
of the injury which this invasion had inflicted upon Greece in the 
legislation of Theodosius II in the first half of the next century. Two 
Imperial edicts remitted sixty years' arrears of taxation; another 
granted the petition of the people of Achaia that their taxes might be 
reduced to one-third of the existing amount on the ground that they 
could pay no more; while yet another relieved the Greeks from the 
burden of contributing towards the expenses of the public games at 
Constantinople. There is proof, too, in the pages of a contemporary 
1 In Eutropium, n. 212 et seq. 



THE ROMANS IN GREECE 27 

historian, as well as in the dry paragraphs of the Theodosian Code, 
that much of the land had been allowed to go out of cultivation and 
had been abandoned by its owners. Athens, however, had survived 
the tempest which had laid waste so large a part of the country. True, 
we find the philosopher Synesios, who visited that seat of learning 
soon after Alaric's invasion, writing sarcastically to a correspondent, 
that Athens "resembled the bleeding and empty skin of a slaughtered 
victim," and was now famous for its honey alone. But the disillusioned 
visitor makes no mention of the destruction of the buildings, for which 
the city was renowned. Throughout the vicissitudes of the five and a 
half centuries, which we have traversed since the Roman Conquest, 
one conqueror after another had spared the glories of Athens, and even 
after the terrible calamity of this Gothic invasion she remained the 
one bright spot amid the darkness which had settled down upon the land 
of the Hellenes. 



II. BYZANTINE GREECE 

The period of more than a century which separated Alaric's invasion 
from the accession of Justinian was not prolific of events on the 
soil of Greece. But those which occurred there tended yet further to 
accelerate the decay of the old classic life. Scarcely had the country 
begun to recover from the long-felt ravages of the Goths, than the 
Vandals, who had now established themselves in Africa, plundered the 
west and south-west coasts of Greece from Epeiros to Cape Matapan. 
But at this crisis the Free Laconian town of Kainepolis showed such 
a Spartan spirit that the Vandal King Genseric was obliged to retire 
with considerable loss. He revenged himself by ravaging the beautiful 
island of Zante, and by throwing into the Ionian Sea the mangled 
bodies of 500 of its inhabitants 1 . Nikopolis was held as a hostage by 
the Vandals till peace was concluded between them and the Eastern 
Empire, when their raids ceased. Seven years afterwards, in 482, the 
Ostrogoths under Theodoric devastated Larissa and the rich plain of 
Thessaly. In 517 a more serious, because permanent enemy, appeared 
for the first time in the annals of Greece. The Bulgarians had already 
caused such alarm to the statesmen of Constantinople that they had 
strengthened the defences of that city, and it was probably at this 
time that the fortifications of Megara were restored. On their first 
inroad, however, the Bulgarians penetrated no further into Greece 
than Thermopylae and the south of Epeiros. But they carried off 
many captives, and, to complete the woes of the Greeks, one of 
those severe earthquakes to which that country is liable laid Corinth 
in ruins. 

The final separation of the Eastern and Western Empires tended 
to identify the interests of the Greeks with those of the Eastern 
Emperors, to make Greek the language of the Court, and to encourage 
the Greek nationality. But from that period down to the Latin conquest 
of Constantinople, the Imperial city grew more and more in importance 
at the expense of the old home of the Hellenes, and Greece became 
more and more provincial. But it seems an exaggeration to say with 
Finlay that during those eight centuries "no Athenian citizen gained a 
place of honour in the annals of the Empire." To Athens, at least, 

1 Procopios, De bello Vand., 1. ch. 22. 



30 BYZANTINE GREECE 

belongs the honour of having produced the Empress Eudokia, wife of 
Theodosius II, whose acts of financial justice to her native land she 
may have prompted, such as that which, in 435, reduced the tribute 
of the dwellers in Greece by two-thirds, while she is said to have founded 
twelve churches in her native city, among them the quaint little 
Kapnikarea, so conspicuous a feature of modern Athens, if we may 
trust the belief embodied in the inscription inside. The daughter of 
an Athenian professor, Leontios, celebrated alike for her beauty and 
accomplishments, she went to Constantinople to appeal against an 
unjust decision which had enriched her brothers but had left her almost 
penniless. She lost her case, but she won the favour of Pulcheria, 
the masterful sister of Theodosius, and was appointed one of her maids 
of honour. She used this favourable position to the best advantage, 
gained the heart of the young Emperor, who was seven years her junior 
in age and many more in knowledge of the world, and had no scruples 
about exchanging paganism and the name of Athenais for Christianity 
and the baptismal title of Eudokia. She showed her Christian charity 
by forgiving and promoting her brothers; she kept up her literary 
accomplishments by turning part of the Old Testament into Greek 
verse; but she was accused of ambition and infidelity, the latter charge 
being substantiated by a superb apple, which the Emperor had pre- 
sented to his wife, which she in turn had sent to her lover, and he, like 
an idiot, had placed on the Emperor's table! She died in exile at 
Jerusalem, a striking example of the vicissitudes of human fortunes. 
Yet even in the time of her power, she could not, perhaps would not, 
prevent her husband's persecution of the religion which she had abjured. 
His orders to the provincial authorities to destroy the temples or to 
consecrate them to Christian worship were not always carried out, it 
is true. But the pictures of Polygnotus, which Pausanias had seen in 
the Stoa Poikele at Athens, excited the covetousness of an Imperial 
governor, and the gold and ivory statue of Athena by Phidias vanished 
from the Parthenon for ever 1 ; the temple of Zeus at Olympia was 
destroyed by an earthquake or by Christian bigotry, the shrine of 
Asklepios on the slope of the Akropolis was pulled down, while the 
heathen divinities became gradually assimilated with the Christian 
saints, in whom they finally merged. Thus Helios, the sun-god, was 
converted into Elias, whose name is so prominent all over the map of 
modern Greece; the wine-god Dionysos became a reformed character 

1 Hertzberg thinks it was the bronze statue of Athena Promachos which was 
carried off. But Gregorovius' view (Geschichte der Stadt A then im Mittelalter, 
1. 49), that given in the text, seems more probable. 






BYZANTINE GREECE 31 

in the person of St Dionysios, and the temples of Theseus and Zeus 
Olympios at Athens were dedicated to St George and St John. By a 
still more striking transformation the Parthenon was consecrated as 
a church of the Virgin during the sixth century, and was thenceforth 
regarded as the Cathedral of Athens. The growth of Christianity is 
observable, too, from the lists of Greek sees represented at the Councils 
of Ephesus and Chalcedon, while the importance of Corinth as the seat 
of the Metropolitan of Achaia is shown by the synod which was held 
there to settle a point of Church discipline in 419. In spite, however, 
of its political separation from Rome, we find Greece making appeals 
to the Pope when grave theological questions arose. At this period 
the Archbishop of Salonika was regarded as the official head of all the 
Greek provinces in Europe, yet when he seemed to the orthodox 
Epeirotes to be affected with heresy, they sent in their adhesion to 
Rome. 

Theodosius II was not content with the destruction of temples; 
he desired the final disappearance of such vestiges of municipal freedom 
as Constantine had spared. In the same spirit of uniformity in which 
he codified the law, he swept away the remains of Lycurgus' system 
at Sparta and the Court of Areopagos. Yet, as institutions usually 
survive their practical utility in a conservative country, we are not 
surprised to find the name of an Eponymos Archon as late as 485. And 
the University of Athens still lived on, fighting the now hopeless battle 
of the old religion with all the zeal of the latest Neo-Platonic school 
of philosophy. The endowments of that school and the patriotism 
of rich Athenians, like Theagenes, one of the two last Archons, 
and known as the wealthiest Greek of his day, made up for the with- 
drawal of Imperial subsidies, and the bitter tongue of Synesios could 
still complain of the airs which those who had studied at Athens gave 
themselves ever afterwards. "They regard themselves," wrote the 
philosopher, "as demi-gods and the rest of mankind as donkeys." 
But the university received a severe blow when, in 425, Theodosius 
enlarged and enriched the University of Constantinople with a number 
of new professorial chairs. If his institution of fifteen professors of 
the Greek language and literature gave that tongue an official position 
in what had hitherto been mainly a Latin city, it also attracted the 
best talent — men like Jacobus, the famous physician of the Emperor 
Leo the Great — from Greece to Constantinople, which thus acted as 
a magnet to the aspiring provincials, just as Paris acts to the rest of 
France. The last great figure of the Athenian University, Proklos, 
whose commentaries on Plato are still extant, was engaged in demon- 



32 BYZANTINE GREECE 

strating by the purity of his life and the mysticism of his doctrines 
that a pagan could be no less moral and more intellectual than a 
Christian. The old gods, deposed from their thrones, seemed to favour 
their last champion; so, when the statue of Athena was removed from 
the Akropolis, the goddess appeared to the philosopher in a dream and 
told him that henceforth his house would be her home. The famous 
Bcethius, whose Consolation of Philosophy was translated by our King 
Alfred, is thought to have studied at Athens in the last years of Proklos, 
and earlier in the fifth century the charming Hypatia, whom Kingsley 
has immortalised for English readers, may be numbered among the 
ladies who at that time sought higher education at Athens and softened 
by their presence the rough manners of the masculine students. But, 
with the death of Proklos, the cause of polytheism and the prosperity 
of the university declined yet more. The shrewd young Greeks saw 
that there was no longer a career for pagans; even the rich benefactor 
of Athens, Theagenes, was converted to Christianity. Justinian dealt 
the university its death-blow in 529 by decreeing that no one should 
teach philosophy at Athens, and by confiscating the endowments of 
the Platonic school. Seven philosophers, of whom the most celebrated 
was Simplikios, the Aristotelian commentator, resolved to seek under 
the benevolent despotism of Chosroes, King of Persia, that freedom of 
speech which was denied to them by Justinian. They believed at a 
distance that the barbarian monarch had realised the ideal of Plato — a 
philosopher on the throne; they went to his court and were speedily 
disillusioned. Home-sick and heart-broken, they begged their new 
patron to let them return to die in Greece. Chosroes, who was at the 
time engaged in negotiating a treaty of peace with Justinian, inserted 
a clause allowing the unhappy seven "to pass the rest of their days 
without persecution in their native land," and Simplikios was thus 
enabled, in the obscurity of private life, to compose those commentaries 
which are still studied by disciples of Aristotle 1 . Thus perished the 
University of Athens, and with it paganism vanished from Greece, 
save where, in the mountains of Laconia, it lingered on till beyond 
the middle of the ninth century. The ancient name of "Hellenes" 
was now exclusively applied to the remnant which still adhered to 
the old religion, so much so that Constantine Porphyrogenitus 2 in the 
tenth century called the Peloponnesian Greeks "Graikoi," because 
"Hellenes" would have still meant idolaters. All the subjects of 
Justinian were collectively described as "Romans," while those who 
inhabited Greece came gradually to be specified as " Helladikoi." 
1 Agathias, 11. chs. 30, 31. * m. 217 (ed. Bonn). 



BYZANTINE GREECE 33 

The reign of Justinian marked the annihilation of the ancient life 
in other ways than these. He disbanded the provincial militia, to which 
we have several times alluded, and which down to his time furnished 
a guard for the Pass of Thermopylae. This garrison proved, however, 
unable to keep out the Huns and Slavs who invaded Greece in 539, 
and, like the Persians of old, marched through the Pass of Anopaia 
into the rear of the defenders. The ravages of these barbarians, who 
devasted Central Greece and penetrated as far as the Isthmus, led 
Justinian to repair the fortifications of Thermopylae, where he placed 
a regular force of 2000 men, maintained out of the revenues of Greece. 
He also re-fortified the Isthmus, and put such important positions as 
Larissa, Pharsalos, Corinth, Thebes, and Athens, with the Akropolis, 
in a state of proper defence. But these military measures involved a 
large expenditure, which Justinian met by appropriating the municipal 
funds. The effect of this measure was to deprive the municipal doctors 
and teachers of their means of livelihood, to stop the municipal grants 
to theatres and other entertainments, to make the repair of public 
buildings and the maintenance of roads — the greatest of all needs in 
a country with the geographical configuration of Greece — most difficult. 
The old Greek life had centred in the municipality, so that from this 
blow it never recovered; fortunately, the Church was now sufficiently 
well organised to take its place, and henceforth that institution became 
the depository of the national traditions, the mainstay in each successive 
century of the national existence. Yet another loss to Greece was that 
of the monuments, which were taken to Constantinople to make good 
the ravages of the great conflagration, caused by the Nika sedition. 
The present church of Sta Sophia, which Justinian raised out of the 
ashes of the second, was adorned with pillars from Athens as well as 
marble from the Greek quarries, and thus once again, as St Jerome had 
said, other cities were "stripped naked" to clothe Constantinople. 
Earthquakes, which shook Patras, Corinth, and Naupaktos to their 
foundations, completed the destruction of much that was valuable, 
and the bubonic plague swept over the country, recalling those terrors 
of which Thucydides and Lucretius had left such a striking description 
in their accounts of the pestilence at Athens in the days of Perikles. 
The King of the Ostrogoths, Totila, after twice taking Rome, sent a 
fleet to harry Corfu and the opposite coast of Epeiros, plundered 
Nikopolis and the ancient shrine of Dodona. It was in consequence 
of this and similar raids that the Corfiotes finally abandoned their old 
city and took refuge in the present citadel, called later on in the tenth 
century from its twin peaks (Kopv<f>oi) Corfu, instead of Corcyra. The 



34 BYZANTINE GREECE 

Bulgarians, a few years later, made a fresh raid as far as Thermopylae, 
where they were stopped by the new fortifications. In short, the 
ambitious foreign policy of Justinian, the powers of nature, and the 
increasing boldness of the barbarians, contrived to make this period 
fatal to Greece. Yet the Emperor bestowed one signal benefit upon 
that country. By the importation of silkworms he gave the Greeks 
the monopoly, so far as Christendom was concerned, of a valuable 
manufacture, which was not infringed till the Norman invasion six 
centuries later. 

The history of Greece becomes very obscure after the death of 
Justinian, and the historian must be content to piece together from 
the Byzantine writers such stray allusions as those chroniclers of court 
scandals make to the neglected fatherland of the Greeks. The salient 
fact of this period is the recurrence of the Slav invasions of Justinian's 
time. We learn that in 578 or 581 an army of 100,000 Slavonians 
"ravaged Hellas" and Thessaly 1 ; in 589, under the Emperor Maurice, 
the Avars, according to the contemporary historian, Evagrios, "con- 
quered all Greece, destroying and burning everything 2 ." This passage 
has given rise to a famous controversy, which at one time convulsed 
not only the learned, but the diplomatic world. In 1830 a German 
scholar, Professor Fallmerayer, published the first volume of a History 
of the Peninsula Morea during the Middle Ages, in which he advanced 
the astounding theory that the inhabitants of modern Greece have 
"not a single drop of genuine Greek blood in their veins." "The Greek 
race in Europe," he wrote, "has been rooted out. A double layer of 
the dust and ashes of two new and distinct human species covers the 
graves of that ancient people. A tempest, such as has seldom arisen 
in human history, has scattered a new race, allied to the great Slav 
family, over the whole surface of the Balkan peninsula from the Danube 
to the inmost recesses of the Peloponnese. And a second, perhaps no 
less important revolution, the Albanian immigration into Greece, has 
completed the work of destruction." The former of these two foreign 
settlements in the Peloponnese, that of the Slavs and Avars, was 
supposed by Fallmerayer to have taken place as the result of the 
above-mentioned invasion of 589, and his supposition received plausible 
confirmation from a mediaeval document. The Patriarch Nicholas, 
writing towards the end of the eleventh century to the Emperor 
Alexios I Comnenos, alludes to the repulse of the Avars from before 
the walls of Patras in 807, and adds that they "had held possession of 
the Peloponnese for 218 years (i.e. from 589), and had so completely 
1 Menander in Hist. Gr. Min. 11. 98. * Hist. Eccles. vi. 10. 



BYZANTINE GREECE 35 

separated it from the Byzantine Empire that no Byzantine official 
dared to set his foot in it 1 ." A similar statement from the Chronicle of 
Monemvasia 2 — a late and almost worthless compilation — was also 
unearthed by the zealous Fallmerayer, who accordingly believed that 
he had proved the existence of a permanent settlement of the Pelopon- 
nese by the Slavs and Avars between 589 and 807, "in complete 
independence of the Byzantine governors of the coast." It was in the 
coast-towns alone and in a few other strongholds, such as Mt Taygetos, 
that he would allow of any survival of the old Greek race, and he 
triumphantly pointed to the famous name of " Navarino " as containing 
a fresh proof of an Avar settlement, while in many places he found 
Slavonic names, corresponding to those of Russian villages. Another 
evidence of this early Slavonic settlement seemed to be provided by 
the remark of the very late Byzantine writer, Phrantzes, that his 
native city of Monemvasia on the south-east coast, which used to supply 
our ancestors' cellars with malmsey, was separated from the diocese 
of Corinth and raised to the rank of a metropolitan see about this 
identical time, presumably because many Greeks had taken refuge there 
from the Slavs, and were cut off from Corinth. Finally, a nun, who 
composed an account of the pilgrimage of St Willibald, the Anglo- 
Saxon Bishop of Eichstatt, in 723, stated that he "crossed to Monem- 
vasia in the Slavonian land," an expression which Fallmerayer hailed 
as a proof that at that period the Peloponnese was known by that 
name. It need not be said that Fallmerayer's theory was as flattering 
to Panslavism as it was unpleasant to Philhellenes. But it is no longer 
accepted in its full extent. No one who has been in Greece can fail to 
have been struck by the similarity between the character of the modern 
and the ancient Greeks. Many an island has its "Odysseus of many 
wiles"; every morning and evening the Athenians are anxious to hear 
"some new thing"; and the comedies of Aristophanes contain many 
personal traits which fit the subjects of the present king. Nor does 
even the vulgar language contain any considerable Slavonic element, 
although there are a certain number of Slavonic place-names to be 
found on the map, including perhaps Navarino. Moreover, the con- 
temporary historian, Theophylact Simokatta, makes no mention of 
the invasion of 589, though he minutely describes the wars of that 
period. Yet, as we shall see later, there is no doubt that at one time 
there was a great Slavonic immigration into Greece, but it took place 
about 746, instead of in 589, and the incoming Slavs, so far from 

1 Leunclavius, Jus Grceco-Romanum, I, 278. 

2 The latest study of this Chronicle is by N. A. Bees in BvfavTls, 1. 57-105. 

3—2 



36 BYZANTINE GREECE 

annihilating the Greeks, were gradually assimilated by that persistent 
race, as has happened to conquering peoples elsewhere. 

But Fallmerayer was not content with wiping out the Greeks 
from the Peloponnese. He next propounded the amazing statement 
that the history of Athens was a blank for four centuries after the time 
of Justinian, and explained this strange phenomenon by a Slavonic 
inundation in that Emperor's reign. In consequence of this invasion, 
the Athenians were said to have fled to Salamis, where they remained 
for 400 years, while their city was abandoned to olive groves and utterly 
neglected. These "facts," which the learned German had culled from 
the chronicle of the Anargyroi Monastery 1 , which, however, distinctly 
says "three years," and not 400, and refers to Albanians, not Slavs, 
have since been disproved, not only by the obviously modern date 
of that compilation, which is now assigned to the nineteenth century, 
and which refers to the temporary abandonment of Athens after its 
capture by Morosini in 1687, but by the allusions which may be found 
to events at Athens during this period of supposed desertion. Thus, 
we hear of an heretical bishop being sent there towards the end of the 
sixth century, and we have the seal of the orthodox divine who was 
Bishop of Athens a hundred years later 2 . An eloquent appeal was 
made by the Byzantine historian, Theophylact Simokatta, to the city to 
put on mourning for the Emperor Maurice, who died in 602, and sixty 
years later another Emperor, Constans II, landed at the Piraeus on his 
way to Sicily, spent the winter at Athens, and collected there a con- 
siderable force of soldiers. Even some few traces of culture may be 
found there in the century which followed Justinian's closing of the 
university. St Gislenus, who went as a missionary to Hainault, and a 
learned doctor, named Stephen, were both born at Athens, and the 
former is stated to have studied there. Finally, in the middle of the 
eighth century, the famous Empress Irene first saw the light in the city, 
which had already given one consort to an Emperor of the East. Thus, 
if comparatively obscure, Athens was not a mere collection of ruins 
in an olive grove, but a city of living men and women which had never 
(as Zygomalas wrote to Crusius in the sixteenth century) "remained 
desolate for about 300 years." 

The attacks of the Slavs and of the newly-founded Arabian power 
marked the course of the seventh century. In 623 the Slavs made 
an incursion into Crete, and that island, of which we have heard little 
under the Imperial rule, was also visited by the Arabs in 651 and 674. 

1 Kampouroglos, 'laropla twv 'Adr/valup, I. 36-72; MvrjfjieTa, 1. 41-46. 
3 Schlumberger, Sigillographie de V Empire Byzantin, 172. 



BYZANTINE GREECE 37 

But though the Cretans were forced to pay tribute to the Caliph, 
Moawyah, they were treated with kindness by the politic conqueror. 
About the same time as this second Arab invasion, and while the main 
Arab force was besieging Constantinople, a body of Slavs seized the 
opportunity to settle in the rich plain of Thessaly, and it is from one 
of their tribes that the present town of Velestino, so often mentioned 
in the war of 1897, received its name. Yet this tribe soon became so 
friendly that it assisted the Greeks in the defence of Salonika against 
a Slavonic army — a further, proof of the readiness with which the Slavs 
adopted the Greek point of view. It is clear also that the command 
of the Imperial troops in Greece was regarded as an important post, 
for we find it entrusted to Leontios, who made himself Emperor. The 
Greek islands were still used as places of detention for prisoners of 
position. Thus Naxos was chosen as the temporary exile of Pope 
Martin I by the Emperor Constans II, and the future Emperor Philip- 
picus was banished to Cephalonia. 

A new era opened for the Empire with the accession of Leo the 
Isaurian in 716. In the first place, that sovereign completed the reform 
of the system of provincial administration, which had lasted more or 
less continuously since the time of Constantine. In place of the old 
provincial divisions, the Empire was now parcelled out into military 
districts, called Themes — a name originally applied to a regiment and 
then to the place at which the regiment was quartered. The choice 
of such a title indicates the essentially military character of the new 
arrangement, which implied the maintenance of a small division of 
troops in each district as a necessary defence against the Avars, Slavs, 
and Arabs, whose depredations had menaced provinces seldom exposed 
to attack in the old times. Six out of the twenty-eight Themes com- 
prised Greece, as she was before the late Balkan wars. The Peloponnese, 
with its capital of Corinth, formed one; Central Greece, including 
Eubcea, formed another, under the name of Hellas, but its capital was 
Thebes, not Athens ; Nikopolis, which comprised ^Etolia and Akarnania, 
and Cephalonia (the latter created a separate Theme later on, and 
including all the Ionian Islands) were two more; the ^EgeanSea, 
popularly known as the Dodekannesos, or "twelve islands," composed 
one of the Asian Themes, and Thessaly was a part of the Theme of 
Macedonia. Both the military and civil authority in each Theme was 
vested in the hands of a Commander, known as strategos, except in 
the case of the ^Egean Islands, where the post was filled by an Admiral, 
called droungdrios. Under the strategds were the firotonotdrios or "judge," 
who was a judicial and administrative authority, and two military 



38 BYZANTINE GREECE 

personages, one of whom, the kleisourdrches, was so-called because he 
watched the mountain passes, like the later Turkish derben-aga. So 
far as Greece is concerned, the eclipse of Athens by Thebes, perhaps 
owing to the silk industry for which the latter city was famous in 
the Middle Ages, is a very noticeable feature of the new adminis- 
tration. 

Another reform of Leo the Isaurian aroused the intense indignation 
of the inhabitants of Greece. We have seen that the spread of Chris- 
tianity in that country had been facilitated by the assimilation of 
pagan forms of worship in the new ritual. It was natural that a race, 
which had been accustomed for centuries to connect art with religion 
and to seek the noblest statuary in the temples of the gods, should have 
regarded with peculiar favour the practice of hanging pictures in 
churches. When therefore Leo, whose Armenian origin perhaps made 
him personally unsympathetic to the Greeks, issued an edict against 
image-worship, his orders met with the most bigoted resistance in 
Greece. It may be that a more searching census for the purposes of 
the revenue had already rendered him unpopular; but to those who 
know how strong is the influence of the Church in the East, and what 
fierce disputes an ecclesiastical question kindles there, the edict of 
the Emperor will seem ample ground for the Greek rising of 727. An 
eruption at the volcanic island of Santorin was interpreted as a sign 
of divine displeasure at the doings of the iconoclast sovereign; while 
Pope Gregory II addressed two violent missives to the Emperor, and 
probably encouraged the agitation in Greece, which still acknowledged 
him as spiritual head of the Church. The " Helladikoi," as they were 
now called, and the seamen of the Cyclades fitted out a fleet under the 
leadership of a certain Stephen ; and, with the co-operation of Agallianos, 
one of the Imperial military officials, set up an orthodox Emperor, 
named Kosmas, and boldly set sail for Constantinople — a proof of 
the resources of Greece at this period. But the result of this naval 
undertaking was very different from that which Greece had equipped 
on behalf of Constantine. A battle was fought under the walls of the 
capital between the two fleets. The Emperor Leo, availing himself 
of the terrible invention of the Greek fire, which had been used with 
such deadly effect in the recent Saracen siege of Constantinople, 
annihilated his opponents' vessels. Agallianos, seeing that all was lost, 
leaped into the sea; Stephen and Kosmas fell by the axe of the execu- 
tioner. We are not told what punishment was meted out to the Greeks, 
but, in consequence of the strong attitude of opposition which the 
Papacy had taken up to the Emperor, Leo in 732 deprived the Pope 



BYZANTINE GREECE 39 

of all jurisdiction over Greece, and placed that country under the 
ecclesiastical authority of the Patriarch of Constantinople. 

The next important event in the history of Greece was the great 
plague, which broke out at Monemvasia in 746 and spread all over 
the Empire. The political consequences of this visitation were far- 
reaching. For not only was the population of Greece diminished by 
the increased mortality there, but it was further lessened by emigration 
to Constantinople, where there were openings for plasterers and other 
skilled workmen, and where great numbers had died of the epidemic. 
The place of these emigrants in the Peloponnese was taken by Slav 
colonists, and this is the true explanation of the Slavonic colonisation, 
which Fallmerayer placed so much earlier. In the celebrated words of 
the Imperial author, Constantine Porphyrogenitus, "All the open 
country was Slavonised and became barbarous, when the plague was 
devouring the whole world 1 ." It seems from the phrase " open country," 
that such Greeks as remained behind crowded into the towns, and that 
the rural districts were thus left free for the Slavs to occupy. And 
this is confirmed by the Epitome of Strabo's Geography, compiled 
apparently about the end of the tenth century, which states that at 
that time "All Epeiros and a large part of Hellas and the Peloponnese 
and Macedonia were inhabited by Scythian Slavs." The memory of 
this Slavonic occupation has been preserved by the Slavonic names of 
places, which Colonel Leake was the first to notice. That the Slavs 
excited the alarm of the Byzantine government is clear from the fact 
that in 783 Staurakios was despatched by the Empress Irene to crush 
their efforts at independence. The Empress was actuated by love of 
Greece as well as by motives of policy, for she was a native of Athens, 
like her predecessor, Eudokia. At the age of seventeen she had been 
selected by the Emperor Constantine Copronymos as the wife of his 
son, Leo IV, and the premature death of her husband left her the real 
mistress of the Empire, which she governed, first as Regent for her son 
and then as sole ruler, for over twenty years. One of the earliest acts 
of her Regency was to send the expedition against the Slavs. Those in 
Thessaly and Central Greece were forced to pay tribute; those in the 
Peloponnese yielded a rich booty to the Byzantine commander. But 
the Slavs were not permanently subdued, as was soon evident. Irene, 
for the greater security of her throne, had banished her five brothers- 
in-law to Athens, which was, of course, devoted to her, and was at 
that time governed by one of her kinsmen. But the five prisoners 
managed to communicate with Akamir, a Slav chieftain who lived 

1 "i- 53- 



40 BYZANTINE GREECE 

at Velestino, and a plot was formed for the elevation of them to the 
throne. The plans of the conspirators fell into the hands of Irene's 
friends, and the prisoners were removed to a safer place. Irene, however, 
was dethroned a little later by Nikephoros I, and banished to Mitylene, 
where she died. In spite of her appalling treatment of her son, whom 
she had dethroned and blinded in order to gratify her greed of power, 
tradition states that she showed her piety and patriotism by the 
foundation of several churches at Athens. Some of her foundations 
disappeared in the storm and stress of the War of Independence; 
others were removed to make way for the streets of the modern town ; but 
the Church of the Panagia Gorgoepekoos, or so-called old Metropolis 1 , 
which still stands, is ascribed to her, and the ruins of the monastery 
which she built and where she at one time lived strew the beautiful 
island of Prinkipo. Even with her death her native city did not lose 
its connection with the Byzantine Court. Among her surviving relatives 
at Athens was a beautiful niece, Theophano, who was married to a 
man of position there. Nikephoros, anxious, no doubt, like all usurpers, 
to connect his family with that of the Sovereign whom he had deposed, 
resolved that the fair Athenian should become the consort of his son, 
Staurakios. He accordingly snatched her from the arms of her husband 
and brought her to Constantinople, where her second marriage took 
place. But this third Athenian Empress did not long enjoy the reward 
of her infidelity to her first husband. Staurakios survived his father's 
death at the hands of the Bulgarians a very few months, and his consort, 
like Eudokia and Irene, ended her life in a monastery. 

The Slavs of the Peloponnese believed that their chance of 
obtaining independence had come during the troubled reign of Nike- 
phoros, when the Saracens under Haroun Al Rashid and the growing 
power of the Bulgarians menaced the Byzantine Empire. They 
accordingly rose, and, after plundering the houses of their Greek 
neighbours, laid siege in 807 to the fortress of Patras, which was the 
principal stronghold of the old inhabitants in the north-west of the 
country. The Slavs blockaded the city from the land side, while a 
Saracen fleet prevented the introduction of supplies by sea. The besieged, 
knowing that the fate of Hellenism in the Peloponnese depended on 
their efforts, held out against these odds in the hope that they would 
thus give the Imperial commander at Corinth time to relieve them. 
At last, when all hope of deliverance seemed to have disappeared, they 
sent out a horseman to one of the hills in the direction of Corinth 
to see if the longed for army of relief was in sight. His orders were to 

1 Neroutsos, XpumapiKoi 'kOrjvcu in AeXriov rijs 'Iot. koI 'E6v. 'Eraiplat, in. 30. 






BYZANTINE GREECE 41 

gallop back as soon as he caught a glimpse of the approaching 
Imperialists and to lower the flag which he carried, so" that his comrades 
in Patras might have the glad news at once. But his eyes in vain 
searched the road along the Gulf of Corinth for the gleam of weapons 
or the dust that would announce the march of soldiers. Sadly he 
turned his horse towards Patras, when, at a spot where he was in full 
view of the walls, his steed stumbled and the flag fell. The besieged, 
believing that help was at hand, were inspired with fresh courage, 
and, sallying from the gates, inflicted a crushing defeat upon the Slavs, 
which was followed up after the arrival of the relieving force three 
days later by the restoration of the Imperial authority along the west 
coast. At that age so great a victory was naturally ascribed to super- 
human aid. St Andrew, the patron-saint of Patras, who, as we have 
seen, was believed to have suffered martyrdom there, and whose 
relics were then preserved there, had caused the scout's horse to 
stumble and had been seen on a milk-white steed leading the citizens 
in their successful onslaught on the Slavs 1 . The gratitude, or policy, of 
the government showed itself in the dedication of the spoil and captives 
to the service of the church of St Andrew, and the Slavonic peasants 
of the neighbourhood became its tenants and paid it a yearly rent. 
The Archbishop of Patras, who had hitherto been dependent upon 
Corinth, was raised by Nikephoros to the rank of a Metropolitan, and 
Methone, Korone and Lacedaemon, were placed under his immediate 
jurisdiction. The political object and result of this step, which was 
ratified by later Emperors, was to hellenise the vanquished Slavs by 
means of the Greek clergy. Moreover, the policy of Nikephoros in 
organising Greek military colonies round the Slav settlements in Greece, 
tended to check Slavonic raids. Public lands were bestowed on these 
colonists whose establishment contributed much to the ultimate fusion 
of the two races. Thus, the defeat of the Slavs before Patras and the 
wise measures of Nikephoros prevented the Peloponnese from becoming 
a Slavonic State, like Servia or Bulgaria, and from that date the tide, 
which had at one time threatened to submerge the Greek nationality 
there, began to ebb. Of this phenomenon we shall be able to watch 
the progress. 

A generation elapsed without a renewal of the Slav agitation in 
the Peloponnese; but about 849 a fresh rising took place. On this 
occasion the appearance of a Byzantine commander in the field soon 
caused the collapse of the rebels. Two Slavonic tribes, however, the 
Melings and Ezerits, which inhabited the slopes to the west, and the 
1 Constantine Porphyrogenitus, in. 217-20. 



42 BYZANTINE GREECE 

plain to the east of Mount Taygetos, were enabled by the strength 
of their geographical position to make terms with the Byzantine 
government, and agreed to pay a small tribute which was assessed 
according to their respective means 1 . The Church continued the work 
of the soldiers by building monasteries in the Slavonic districts, and 
from the middle of the ninth century the Greek element began to 
recover lost ground. Nearly all the Slavs and the last of the Hellenic 
pagans in the south of Taygetos were then converted, and the adoption 
of Christianity by the Bulgarians cannot have failed to affect the 
Slavonic settlers in the Byzantine Empire. Of the revived prosperity 
of Greece we have two remarkable proofs. In 823 that country raised 
a fleet of 350 sail for the purpose of intervening in the civil war then 
raging between the Emperor Michael the Stammerer and a Slavonic 
usurper, and this implies the possession of considerable resources. Still 
more striking is the story of the rich widow, Danielis of Patras. About 
the time of the Byzantine expedition against the Slavs of Taygetos, 
the future Emperor, Basil I, then chief groom in the service of a 
prominent courtier, was at Patras in attendance on his master, who had 
been sent there on political business. One day, as the comely groom 
was entering the church of St Andrew, a monk stopped him and told 
him that he should become Emperor. Shortly afterwards he fell ill 
of a fever, which, by detaining him at Patras after his master's departure, 
proved to be a blessing in disguise. Moved by philanthropy or the 
prophecy of the monk, Danielis took the sick groom into her house, 
bade him be a brother to her son, and, when he had recovered from 
his illness, provided him with a train of thirty slaves to accompany 
him to Constantinople, and loaded him with costly presents. When, 
in 867, the monk's forecast was fulfilled, and Basil mounted the 
Imperial throne, he did not forget his benefactress. He not only 
promoted her son to a high position in his court, but invited the aged 
lady to Constantinople. In spite of her age and infirmities, Danielis 
travelled in a litter, accompanied by 300 slaves, who took in turns 
the duty of carrying their mistress. As a gift to the Emperor, she 
brought 500 more, as well as 100 maidens, chosen for their skill in 
embroidery, 100 purple garments, 300 linen robes, and 100 more of 
such fine material that each piece could easily be packed away in a 
hollow cane. Every kind of gold and silver vessel completed the list 
of presents, which would not have disgraced a brother sovereign. 
When she arrived, she was lodged like a queen and addressed as 
"mother" by her grateful protege. Basil's gratitude was rewarded by 

1 Ibid. hi. 220-24. 



BYZANTINE GREECE 43 

fresh favours. Danielis called for a notary and made over to the 
Emperor and her own son a part of her landed estates in the Pelopon- 
nese. Finding that Basil had tried to atone for the murder of his 
predecessor, which had given him the throne, by the erection of a 
church, she had a huge carpet manufactured by her own workmen 
to cover the splendid mosaic floor. Once again, on the death of her 
favourite, she journeyed to Constantinople to greet his son and suc- 
cessor. Her own son was by that time dead, so she devised the whole 
of her property to the young Emperor Leo VI. At her request, a high 
official was sent to the Peloponnese to prepare an inventory of her 
effects. Even in these days a sovereign would rejoice at such a windfall. 
Her loose cash, her gold and silver plate, her bronze ornaments, her 
wardrobe, and her flocks and herds represented a princely fortune. 
As for her slaves, they were so numerous that the Emperor, in the 
embarrassment of his riches, emancipated 3000 of them and sent them 
as colonists to Apulia, then part of the Byzantine Empire. Eighty 
farms formed the real property of this ninth century millionairess, 
whose story throws light on the position of the Peloponnesian landed 
class, or archontes, at that period. Danielis was, doubtless, exceptionally 
rich, and Patras was then, as now, the chief commercial town in the 
Peloponnese. But the existence of such an enormous fortune as hers 
presupposes a high degree of civilisation, in which many others must 
have participated. Even learning was still cultivated in Greece, for 
the distinguished mathematician Leo, who was one of the ornaments 
of the Byzantine Court, is expressly stated to have studied rhetoric, 
philosophy and science under a famous teacher, Michael Psellos, who 
lectured at a college in the island of Andros, where his pupil's name 
is not yet forgotten 1 . 

But while the Greeks had thus triumphed in the Peloponnese, 
they had lost ground elsewhere. Availing themselves of the disorders 
in the Byzantine Empire, when the Greek ships were all engaged in 
the civil war of 823, a body of Saracens, who had emigrated from the 
south of Spain to Alexandria, descended on Crete, at that time recovering 
from the effects of an earthquake, but still possessing thirty cities. 
Landing at Suda Bay, they found the islanders mostly favourable, 
or at any rate indifferent, to a change of masters. Reinforced by a 
further batch of their countrymen, the Saracens resolved to settle 
there. A Cretan monk is said to have shown them a strong position 
where they could pitch their camp; so they burnt their ships and 
established themselves at the spot indicated, the site of the present 
1 Kedrenos (ed. Bonn), 11. 170. 



44 BYZANTINE GREECE 

town of Candia, which derives its Venetian name from the Chandak 
or "ditch" surrounding it. The conquest of the island was soon accom- 
plished — a clear proof of the islanders' apathy when we remember the 
heroic defence of the Cretans in more recent times. Religious toleration 
reconciled many to the sway of the Saracens ; in the course of years 
a number of the Christians embraced the creed of their conquerors, 
helping to man their fleets and sharing the profits of that nefarious 
traffic in slaves of which Crete, as in former days Delos, became the 
centre. One district, which we may identify with Sphakia, was per- 
mitted to enjoy autonomy. For Greece the rule of the Saracens in 
Crete was a serious misfortune. Cretan corsairs ably led by Christian 
renegades, in quest of booty and slaves, ravaged the Cyclades and the 
Ionian Islands, and menaced the coast towns of the mainland, whither 
the terrified inhabitants of iEgina and similarly exposed spots migrated 
in the hope of safety. The efforts of the Byzantine government to 
recover "the great Greek island," which was now a terror to the whole 
Levant, were for more than a century unsuccessful, and during 138 
years Crete remained in the possession of the Saracens. Occasionally 
their fleet was annihilated, as in the reign of Basil I, when the Byzantine 
admiral, hearing that they meditated a descent upon the west coast 
of Greece, conveyed his ships across the Isthmus in the night by means 
of the old tram-road, or diolkos, which had been used by the contem- 
poraries of Thucydides, and has even now not entirely disappeared. 
By this brilliant device he took the enemy by surprise in the Gulf of 
Corinth, and destroyed their vessels. But new fleets arose as if by magic, 
and Basil was obliged to strengthen the garrisons of the Peloponnese. 
His successor, aroused to action by their daring attacks upon Demetrias 
and Salonika, both flourishing cities which they devastated and 
plundered, equipped a naval expedition, to which the Greek Themes 
contributed ships and men, with the object of recapturing Crete. But 
neither that nor the subsequent armada despatched by the Imperial 
author, Constantine Porphyrogenitus, was destined to succeed. At 
last, in 961, the redoubtable commander, Nikephoros Phokas, restored 
Crete to the Byzantine Empire. But even at that early period, Candia 
began to establish the reputation which it so nobly increased during 
the Turkish siege seven centuries later. Its strong fortifications for 
seven long months resisted the Byzantine general; but he patiently 
waited for a favourable moment, and at last took the place by storm. 
The most drastic measures were adopted for the complete reduction 
of the island. The broad brick walls of Candia were pulled down; a 
new fortress called Temenos was erected on the height of Rhoka some 



BYZANTINE GREECE 45 

miles inland, to overawe the inhabitants. Some of the Saracens 
emigrated, others sank into a state of serfdom. As usual the missionary 
followed the Byzantine arms, and the island attracted many Greek 
and Armenian Christians; the name of the latter still lingers in the 
Cretan village of Armeni ; among the former were some distinguished 
Byzantine families, whose descendants furnished leaders to the insur- 
rections later on. In the conversion of the Cretan apostates back to 
Christianity, an Armenian monk called Nikon, and nicknamed " Repent 
Ye" from the frequency of that phrase in his sermons, found a fine 
field for his labours. The Christian churches, for which Crete had once 
been famous, rose again, and the reconquest of the island gave to 
Nikephoros Phokas the Imperial diadem, to the deacon Theodosios the 
subject for a long iambic poem, and to Nikon the more lasting dignity 
of a saint. But, in spite of his efforts, not a few Arabs retained their 
religion, and the Cretan Mussulmans of Amari are still reckoned as 
their descendants. 

The tenth century witnessed not only the recovery of Crete for the 
Byzantine Empire and for the Christian faith, but also the spread of 
monasteries over Greece. When Nikon had concluded his Cretan 
mission he visited Athens, where he is said by his biographer to have 
enchanted the people with his sermons, penetrated as far as Thebes, 
and then returned to Sparta, where he founded a convent and established 
his headquarters. Thence he set out on missionary journeys among the 
Slavonic tribes of the Melings and Ezerits, who had again risen against 
the Imperial authority and had again been reduced to the payment 
of a tribute. Those wild clans continued, however, to harry the sur- 
rounding country, and the monastery of St Nikon was only protected 
from their attacks by the awe which the holy man's memory inspired. 
Long after his death he was adored as the guardian of Sparta, where 
his memory is still green, and the Peloponnesian mariner, caught in 
a storm off Cape Matapan, would pray to him, as his ancestors had 
prayed to Castor and Pollux. For Central Greece the career of the 
blessed Luke the younger was as important as that of St Nikon for 
the South. The parents of this remarkable man had fled from ^Egina, 
when the Cretan corsairs plundered that island, and had taken refuge 
in Macedonia, where Luke was born. Filled with the idea that he had 
a call to a holy life, the young Luke settled as a hermit on a lonely 
Greek mountain by the sea-shore, where for seven long years he devoted 
himself to prayer. A Bulgarian raid drove him to the Peloponnese, 
where for ten years more he served as the attendant of another hermit, 
who, like the famous Stylites of old, lived on a pillar near Patras. After 



46 BYZANTINE GREECE 

further adventures, he migrated to Stiris, between Delphi and Livadia, 
where the monastery which bears his name now stands. 

The absorption of the Christianised Slavs by the Greeks was 
occasionally interrupted by the Bulgarian inroads, which now became 
frequent. Since the foundation of the first Bulgarian Empire towards 
the end of the ninth century, the power of that race had greatly 
increased, and the Byzantine sovereigns found formidable rivals in 
the Bulgarian tsars. About 929 the Bulgarians captured Nikopolis, and 
converted it into a Slavonic colony, which was only reconquered by 
considerable efforts. Arsenios, Metropolitan of Corfu, who was canonised 
later on, and was for centuries the patron saint of the island, where his 
festival is still celebrated and his remains repose, fell into the hands 
of these invaders, but was rescued by the valour of the islanders 1 , 
and a new tribe, called Slavesians, probably an offshoot of the Bulgarians, 
made its way into the Peloponnese. The troublesome clans of Melings 
and Ezerits seized this opportunity to demand the reduction of their 
tribute, which had been raised after their last rising. The Government 
wisely granted their demand, and so prevented a formidable insurrec- 
tion. Athens was also disturbed by a domestic riot. A certain Chases, 
a high Byzantine official, had aroused the resentment of the people 
by his tyranny and the scandals of his life. Alarmed at the threatening 
attitude of the inhabitants, who had been joined by others from the 
country, he took refuge at the altar in the Church of the Virgin on 
the Akropolis, the ancient Parthenon. But the sanctuary did not 
protect him from the vengeance of his enemies, who stoned him to 
death at the altar, thus showing less reverence for the Virgin than the 
ancient Athenians had once shown under somewhat similar circum- 
stances for the goddess Athena. 

The Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus, who wrote about the 
middle of the tenth century, has left us a favourable sketch of the 
Peloponnese as it was in his day. Forty cities were to be found in 
that Theme, and some idea of its resources may be formed from the 
statement that the Peloponnesians excused themselves from personal 
service in an Italian campaign by the payment of 7200 pieces of gold 
and the presentation of 1000 horses all equipped 2 . The purple, parch- 
ment, and silk industries, as well as the shipping trade, must have 
yielded considerable profits to those who carried them on, and the 
presence of many Jews at Sparta in the time of St Nikon, who tried 
to expel them, shows that there was money to be made there. His 

1 Mustoxidi, Delle Cose Corciresi, 409. 
1 Constantine Porphyrogenitus, in. 243. 



BYZANTINE GREECE 47 

biography represents that city — of which the contemporary Empress, 
Theophano, wife of Romanos II and Nikephoros Phokas, was perhaps 
a native 1 — as possessing a powerful aristocracy, and as having com- 
mercial relations with Venice. The reconquest of Crete, by freeing the 
coast-towns from the depredations of pirates, naturally increased the 
prosperity of Greece. Schools rose again at Athens and Corinth, and 
from that time down to the beginning of the thirteenth century the 
country improved, in spite of occasional invasions. Thus, the Bulgarian 
Tsar Samuel captured Larissa and carried off many of its inhabitants, 
as well as the remains of the Thessalian Archbishop, St Achilleios, 
which had long been the chief relic of the place. His standards were 
twice seen south of the Isthmus, and Attica was ravaged by his forces. 
To this period we may refer the statement above quoted that "all 
Epeiros and a large part of Hellas and the Peloponnese and Macedonia 
were occupied by Scythian Slavs." But when they arrived at the river 
Spercheios on their return march, they were surprised by a Byzantine 
army and utterly defeated. The Emperor Basil II, surnamed "the 
Bulgar-slayer," completed the destruction of the first Bulgarian 
Empire, and on his triumphal progress through Northern and Central 
Greece in 10 19 found the bones of the slain still bleaching on the banks 
of the Spercheios. After inspecting the fortifications of Thermopylae, 
he proceeded to Athens, which no Byzantine Emperor had visited 
since the days of Cons tans II. The visit was an appropriate sequel to 
the campaign. For the first time for centuries the Byzantine dominions 
extended from the Bosporos to the Danube, and the Balkan peninsula 
once again was under Greek domination. In the Church of the Virgin 
on the Akropolis, the very centre and shrine of the old Hellenic life 
in bygone days, the victorious Emperor offered up thanks to Almighty 
God for his successes, and showed his gratitude by rich offerings to 
the church out of the spoil which he had taken. The beauty of the 
building, which he seems to have enhanced by a series of frescoes, 
traces of which are still visible, was justly celebrated in the next 
generation, and one curiosity of that holy spot, the ever-burning golden 
lamp, is specially mentioned by the author of the so-called Book of 
Guido, and by the Icelandic pilgrim, Saewulf. Other persons imitated 
the example of Basil, and the restoration or foundation of Athenian 

1 The two large tombs in the crypt at Hosios Loukas are according to tradition 
those of Romanos II and Theophano who is known to English readers as the 
eponymous heroine of Mr Frederic Harrison's novel. Leo Diakonos (p. 49) calls 
her "the Laconian"; some say she was of low origin, others of a noble family of 
Constantinople. I noticed a great number of Hebrew inscriptions at Mistra, 
near Sparta. 



48 BYZANTINE GREECE 

churches was one of the features of the first half of the eleventh century. 
Freed for the time from corsairs and hostile armies, Greece was once 
more able to pursue the arts of peace unhindered. During the great 
famine which prevailed at Constantinople in 1037, the Themes of Hellas 
and the Peloponnese were able to export 100,000 bushels of wheat 
for the relief of the capital. The chief grievance of the Greeks was the 
extortion of the Imperial Government, which aroused two insurrections 
after the death of Basil. The first of these movements took place at 
Naupaktos, where the people rose against "Mad George," the hated 
representative of the Emperor, murdered him, and plundered his 
residence. This revolt was suppressed with great severity, the arch- 
bishop, who had been on the side of the people, being blinded, according 
to the prevalent fashion of Byzantine criminal law. Some years later, 
the inhabitants of the Theme of Nikopolis murdered the Imperial 
tax-collector, and called in the Bulgarians, who had risen against fiscal 
extortion like themselves. While Naupaktos held out in the West, the 
Thebans, then a rich and flourishing community, abandoned their silk 
manufactories, and took the field against the Bulgarians 1 . But they 
were defeated with great loss, and it has even been asserted that the 
victors occupied the Piraeus with the connivance of the discontented 
Athenians. 

This surmise, which has, however, been rejected by the German 
historian of mediaeval Athens, rests upon one of the most curious 
discoveries that have been made in connection with the place. Every 
visitor to Venice has seen the famous lions which adorn the front of 
the arsenal. One of these statues, brought home as a trophy by Morosini 
from the Piraeus in 1688, has upon it a runic inscription, which has 
been deciphered by an expert. According to his version, the inscription 
commemorates the capture of the Piraeus at this period by the celebrated 
Harold Hardrada, whom our King Harold defeated at Stamford Bridge, 
and who, in 1040, was commander of the Imperial Guard at Constanti- 
nople. In consequence, it appears, of an Athenian rising, Harold had 
been sent with a detachment of that force, composed largely of 
Norwegians, to put down the rebellion. After accomplishing their 
object, the Northmen, in the fashion of the modern tourist, scrawled 
their names and achievements on the patient Hon, which then stood, 
like the lion of Lindau, at the entrance of the Piraeus and gave to 
that harbour its later name of Porto Leone. It would be difficult 
to find a more curious piece of historical evidence than that a 

1 Kedrenos, n. 475, 482, 516, 529; Zonaras (ed. Leipzig), iv. 123; Early Travels 
in Palestine, 32. 



BYZANTINE GREECE 49 

monument in Venice should tell us of a Norwegian descent upon 
Athens. 

Dissension among the Bulgarians led to their collapse, and Greece 
enjoyed a complete freedom from barbarian inroads for the next forty 
years, with the exception of a passing invasion by the Uzes, a Turkish 
tribe, who left no mark upon the country. Athens at this period was 
regarded by the Byzantine officials who were sent there as the uttermost 
ends of the earth, though at Constantinople Philhellenism had a worthy 
representative in the historian and philosopher Psellos, who constantly 
manifested a deep interest in "the muse of Athens." A more curious 
figure, typical of that monastic age, was the Cappadocian monk 
Meletios, who established himself on the confines of Attica and Bceotia, 
and by means of his miracles gained great influence there. We find him 
descending from his solitary mountain to Athens to rescue a band of 
Roman pilgrims, who had taken refuge there and had been threatened 
with death by the bigoted Athenians. We hear of the convents which 
he founded in various parts of Greece, and it was to him that the land 
was largely indebted for the plague of monks, many of them merely 
robbers in disguise, which checked civic progress and injured all national 
life in the next century. Worse than this, the final separation of the 
Greek and Latin Churches in 1053, by kindling a fanatical hatred 
between West and East, brought countless woes upon the Levant, 
and was one of the causes of the Latin invasions which culminated 
in the overthrow of the Byzantine Empire in 1204. 

There now appeared, for the first time in the history of Greece, 
that vigorous race which in the same century conquered our own 
island. The Normans of Italy, under their redoubtable leader, Robert 
Guiscard, resolved to emulate the doings of William the Conqueror 
by subduing the Byzantine Empire, which seemed to those daring 
spirits an easy prey. They began by the annexation of the Byzantine 
provinces of Apulia and Calabria, and then turned their eyes across 
the Adriatic to the opposite coast. An excuse was easily found for this 
invasion. One of Guiscard's daughters had been engaged to the son 
of the Emperor Michael VII. But the revolution, which overthrew 
Michael, sent his son into a monastery, and thus provided Guiscard 
with an opportunity of posing as the champion of the fallen dynasty. 
An impostor, who masqueraded as the deposed Emperor, implored 
his aid in the cause of legitimacy, and the great Pope, who then 
occupied the throne under the name of Gregory VII, bade the godly 
help in the contest against the schismatic Greeks. After long prepara- 
tions Guiscard appeared in 108 1 off Corfu, which surrendered to the 

M. 4 



50 BYZANTINE GREECE 

Norman invader, and then directed his forces against the walls of 
Durazzo, now a crumbling Albanian fortress, then "the Western key 
of the empire." Menaced at the same moment by the Turks in Asia 
and the Normans in Europe, the Emperor Alexios I made peace with 
the former and then set out to the relief of Durazzo. But he did not 
trust to a land force alone, and as the Byzantine navy, like the Turkish 
fleet in our own days, had been neglected and the money intended 
for its maintenance had been misappropriated, he applied for aid to 
the mercantile Republic of Venice. The Venetians saw a chance of 
consolidating their trade in the Levant, and, as the price of their 
assistance, obtained from the embarrassed Emperor the right of free 
trade throughout the empire, where the Greek cities of Thebes, Athens, 
Corinth, Nauplia, Methone, Korone, Corfu, Euripos, and Demetrias 
are specially mentioned as their haunts. But the aid of a Venetian 
fleet did not prevent the victory of the Normans over Alexios on the 
plain near Durazzo, where Caesar and Pompey had once contended. 
The Emperor retreated to Ochrida, where, two generations earlier, the 
Bulgarian Tsar Samuel had fixed his residence, while his conqueror, 
after taking Durazzo, marched across Albania and captured the city 
of Kastoria, which was defended by three hundred English, members 
of the Imperial Guard. Recalled to Italy by troubles in his own 
dominions and by the distress of his ally the Pope, Guiscard left the 
prosecution of the campaign to his son Bohemond, who penetrated 
into Thessaly, that historic battle-ground of the Near East. But the 
walls of Larissa and the gold of Alexios proved too much for the 
strength of the Normans, and Bohemond was forced to retire to Italy. 
He found his father fresh from his triumph at Rome, which he had 
delivered to the Pope, and ready for a second campaign against the 
Byzantine Empire. In 1084 Guiscard set sail again; after three naval 
battles with the Greeks and their Venetian allies, Corfu once more 
surrendered to the Normans, and their leader used it as a stepping-stone 
to the island of Cephalonia. But he contracted a fever there, which put 
an end to his life and to the expedition, of which he had been the heart and 
soul. The village of Phiskardo has perpetuated his name, thus marking 
this second attempt of the West to impose its sway upon the East. 

Bohemond renewed, twenty-two years later, his father's attacks 
upon the Byzantine Empire. In the meanwhile, as the result of his 
share in the first crusade, he had become Prince of Antioch — one of 
those feudal States which now adjoined the immediate dominions of 
the Eastern Emperor and exercised considerable social influence on 
the customs of his subjects. Aided by the Pisans, whose fleet ravaged 



BYZANTINE GREECE 51 

the Ionian Islands, Bohemond seemed likely to repeat the early successes 
of his father; but Alexios had learnt how to deal with the Latins, and 
the Normans' second assault on Durazzo ended in a treaty of peace, 
by which Bohemond swore fealty to the Emperor. For the next forty 
years Greece had nothing to fear from the Normans, but the evil results 
of the alliance with Venice now became manifest. The Republic of 
St Mark had jealous commercial rivals in Italy, who envied her the 
monopoly of the Levantine trade. When, therefore, concessions were 
made to the Pisans and the previous charter of the Venetians was not 
renewed, the Empire found itself involved in a naval war with the 
latter, from which the defenceless Greek islands suffered, and which 
was only ended by the renewal of the old Venetian privileges. The 
mercantile powers of Italy had come to treat the Byzantine possessions 
much as modern European States regard Turkey, as a Government 
from which trading concessions can be obtained. But every fresh grant 
offended some one and gave the favoured party more and more influence 
in the affairs of the Empire. Fresh Venetian factories were founded in 
Greece, and the increasing prosperity of that country had the dis- 
advantage of attracting the covetous foreigner. 

Such was the state of affairs when, in 1146, Guiscard's nephew, 
King Roger of Sicily, availing himself of an insult to his honour, 
invaded Greece with far greater success than had attended his uncle. 
The Sicilian Admiral, George of Antioch, occupied Corfu, with the 
connivance of the poorer inhabitants, who complained of the heavy 
taxation of the Imperial Government which in the twelfth century 
levied from that one Ionian Island about 9,000,000 dr. of modern 
money, or more than the present Greek Exchequer raises from all the 
seven, but was repulsed by the bold inhabitants of the impregnable 
rock of Monemvasia ; then, after plundering the west coast, he landed 
his troops at the modern Itea, on the north of the Gulf of Corinth, 
and thence marched past Delphi on Thebes, at that time the seat of 
the silk manufacture. The city was undefended, but that did not save 
it from the rapacity of the Normans. Alexander the Great had, at 
least, spared "the house of Pindaros" when he took Thebes; but its 
new conquerors left nothing that was of any value behind them. After 
they had thoroughly ransacked the houses and churches they made 
the Thebans swear on the Holy Scriptures that they had concealed 
nothing, and then departed, dragging with them the most skilful 
weavers and dyers so as to transfer the silk industry to Sicily. This 
last was a serious blow to the monopoly of the silk trade which Greece 
had hitherto enjoyed so far as Christian States were concerned. The 

4—2 



52 BYZANTINE GREECE 

secret of the manufacture had been jealously guarded; and the fishers 
who obtained the famous purple dye for the manufacturers were a 
privileged class, exempted from the payment of military taxes. Roger 
was well aware of the value of his captives; he established them and 
their families at Palermo, and at the conclusion of the war they were 
not restored to their homes in Greece. But the art of making and dyeing 
silk does not seem to have died out at Thebes, which, fifteen years 
after the Norman invasion, had recovered much of its former prosperity. 
When the Jewish traveller, Benjamin of Tudela, visited it about 1161, 
he found 2000 of his co-religionists there, among them the best weavers 
and dyers in Greece, and towards the end of the century forty garments 
of Theban silk were sent as a present by the Emperor to the Sultan 
of Iconium. Although there are no silks now manufactured at Thebes 
and no mulberry-trees there, the plain near the town is still called by 
the peasants Morokampos, from the mulberry-trees which once grew 
upon it. From Thebes the Normans proceeded to the rich city of 
Corinth, which fell into their hands without a blow. Those who have 
ascended the grand natural fortress of Akrocorinth may easily under- 
stand the surprise of the warlike Normans at its surrender by the 
cowardly Byzantine commandant. "If Nikephoros Chalouphes" — such 
was his name — "had not been more timid than a woman," exclaimed 
the Sicilian admiral, "we should never have entered these walls." The 
town below yielded an even richer booty than Thebes — for it was then, 
as under the Romans, the great emporium of the Levantine trade in 
Greece — and laden with the spoils of Thebes and Corinth and with the 
relics of St Theodore, the Norman fleet set sail on its homeward voyage. 
Nineteen vessels fell victims to privateers, but the surviving ships 
brought such a valuable cargo into the great harbour of Palermo that 
the admiral was able to build out of his share the bridge which is still 
called after him, Ponte dell' Ammiraglio. The Church of La Martorana 
as its older name of Sta Maria dell' Ammiraglio testifies, was also founded 
by him. The captives, except the silk-weavers, were afterwards restored 
to their homes, and Corfu was recaptured by the chivalrous Emperor, 
Manuel Comnenos, after a siege, in the course of which he performed 
such prodigies of valour as to win the admiration of the Norman 
commander. 

The revival of material prosperity in Greece after the close of this 
conflict was most remarkable, and in the second half of the twelfth 
century that country must have been one of the most flourishing 
parts of the Empire. The Arabian geographer, Edrisi, who wrote in 
1 153, tells us that the Peloponnese had thirteen cities, and alludes 






BYZANTINE GREECE 53 

to the vegetation of Corfu, the size of Athens, and the fertility of the 
great Thessalian plain, while Halmyros was then one of the most 
important marts of the Empire. Benjamin of Tudela tells us of Jewish 
communities in Larissa, Naupaktos, Arta, Corinth, Patras, Eubcea, 
Corfu (consisting of one man), Zante, and Mgina., as well as in Thebes, 
and this implies considerable wealth. Like St Nikon, he found them 
in Sparta, and we may note as a curious phenomenon the existence 
of a colony of Jewish agriculturists on the slopes of Parnassos. Salonika, 
where the Hebrew element is now so conspicuous, even then had 500 
Jews. When we remember how rare are Jews in Greece to-day, except 
there and at Corfu, their presence in such numbers in the twelfth 
century is all the more strange. Nor were they all engaged in money- 
making. The worthy rabbi met Jews at Thebes who were learned in 
the Talmud, while the Greek clergy had also some literary representa- 
tives. It was about this time that the biography of St Nikon was 
composed; the philosophical and theological writings of Nicholas, 
Bishop of Methone, and Gregory, the Metropolitan of Corinth, belonged 
to the same epoch. Athens, after a long eclipse, had once more become 
a place of study. Yet, in point of wealth, Athens was inferior to several 
other Greek cities, and perhaps for that reason had no Jewish colony. 
We have from the pen of Michael Akominatos, the last Greek Metro- 
politan of Athens before the Latin conquest, who was appointed about 
1 1 75, a full if somewhat pessimistic account of the condition of his 
diocese, which then included ten bishoprics. Michael was a man of 
distinguished family, a brother of the Byzantine statesman and historian, 
Niketas Choniates, and a pupil of the great Homeric scholar, Eustathios, ' 
who was Archbishop of Salonika. An ardent classical scholar, he had 
been enchanted at the prospect of taking up his abode in the episcopal 
residence on the Akropolis, of which he had formed the most glorified 
idea. But the golden dream of the learned divine vanished at the touch 
of reality. It was said of the Philhellenes, who went to aid the Greeks 
in the War of Independence, that they expected to find the Peloponnese 
filled with "Plutarch's men"; finding that the modern Greeks were 
not ancient heroes and sages, they at once put them down as scoundrels 
and cut-throats. The worthy Michael seems to have experienced the 
same disillusionment and to have committed the same error as the 
Philhellenes. Fallen walls and rickety houses fringing mean streets 
gave him a bad impression as he entered the city in triumphal proces- 
sion. His cathedral, it is true, with its frescoes and its offerings from 
the time of Basil the Bulgar-slayer, with its eternal lamp, the wonder 
of every pilgrim, and with the noble memories of the golden age of 



54 BYZANTINE GREECE 

Perikles which clung round its venerable structure, seemed to him 
superior to Sta Sophia in all its glory, a palace worthy of a king. And 
what bishop could boast of a minster such as the Parthenon? But the 
Athenians, "the off-spring of true-born Athenians," as he styled them 
in his pompous inaugural address, did not appreciate, could scarcely 
even understand, the academic graces of his style. The shallow soil 
of Attica had become a parched desert, where little or no water was; 
the classic fountain of Kallirrhoe had ceased to run, the olive-yards 
were withered up by the drought. The silk- weavers and dyers, traces 
of whose work have been found in the Odeion of Herodes Atticus, had 
disappeared. Emigration and the exactions of the Byzantine officials 
completed the tale of woe, which Michael was ever ready to pour into 
the ear of a sympathetic correspondent. In 1198, he addressed a 
memorial to the Emperor Alexios Comnenos III, on behalf of the 
Athenians, from which we learn that the city was free from the juris- 
diction of the provincial governor, who resided at Thebes, and who 
was not even allowed to enter the city, which, like Patras and Monem- 
vasia, was governed by its own archontes. But it appears that the 
governor none the less quartered himself on the inhabitants, and had 
thrice imposed higher ship-money on Athens than on Thebes and 
Chalkis. Nor did the Metropolitan hesitate to tell another Emperor, 
Isaac Angelos, that Athens was too poor to present him with the 
usual coronation offering of a golden wreath. Yet, when the Lord High 
Admiral came to Athens, he found merchantmen in the Piraeus, and 
the Government raised more out of the impoverished inhabitants than 
out of Thebes and Eubcea. We must therefore not take too literally 
all the rhetorical complaints of the archbishop, which are incompatible 
with the great luxury of the Athenian Court under the French Dukes 
in the next century. As a good friend of Athens, he was anxious to make 
the city appear as poor as possible in the eyes of a grasping Government, 
for in the East it has always been a dangerous thing to appear rich. 
As a cultured man of the world, he exaggerated the " barbarism " — such 
is his own phrase, which would have staggered the ancient Athenians — 
of the spot where his lot had been cast. He derided the Attic Greek 
of his time as a rude dialect, and told his classical friends that few 
of the historic landmarks in Attica had preserved their ancient names 
pure and undefiled. Sheep grazed, he said, among the remains of the 
Painted Porch. "I live in Athens," he wrote in a poem on the decay 
of the city, "yet it is not Athens that I see." Yet Athens was at least 
spared the horrors of the sack of Salonika by the Normans of Sicily, 
whose great invasion in 1185 touched only the fringe of Greece. 



BYZANTINE GREECE 55 

Then, as in the war which broke out between Venice and the 
Empire some years earlier, it was the islands which suffered. After the 
attack by the mob on the Latin quarter of Constantinople, those 
Latins who escaped revenged themselves by preying upon the dwellers 
in the ^Sgean, whose flourishing state had been noted by Edrisi before 
that terrible visitation. Cephalonia and Zante were now permanently 
severed from the Byzantine sway, many Italians settled there, and 
after succumbing to Margaritone, the Sicilian admiral, Corfu, then a 
very rich island, became for some years the home of Vetrano, a Latin 
pirate, who was soon the terror of the Greek coasts. As if this were not 
enough, Isaac Angelos robbed many of the churches of their ornaments 
and pictures for the benefit of his capital, such as the famous picture 
at Monemvasia of Our Lord being dragged to the Cross, and extortion 
once more roused an insurrection in the Theme of Nikopolis. His 
successor injured Greek trade by granting most extensive privileges 
to the Venetians, who secured the commercial supremacy in the 
Levant. The Byzantine State was becoming visibly weaker every day, 
and the re-establishment of the second Bulgarian Empire suggested 
to a bold official, Manuel Kamytzes, the idea of carving out, with 
Bulgarian aid, a kingdom for himself in Greece. His attempt failed, 
but the growth of feudalism had loosened the old ties which bound 
that country to Constantinople. The power of the landed aristocracy, 
the archontes, as they were called, had gone on growing since the days 
of Danielis of Patras. Their rivalries threatened the Greek towns with 
the scenes which disgraced the cities of mediaeval Italy, and some of 
them, like the great clan of Sgouros at Nauplia, were hereditary nobles 
of almost princely position. Large estates, the curse of ancient Italy, 
had grown up in Greece; the Empress Euphrosyne, for example, was 
owner of a vast property in Thessaly, which included several flourishing 
towns. Moreover, that province was no longer inhabited by a mainly 
Greek population; in the twelfth century it had passed so completely 
under Wallachian influence that it was known as Great Wallachia, 
and its colonists were the ancestors of those Koutso-Wallachs, who 
still pasture their herds in the country near the Thessalian frontier, 
descending to Bceotia in the winter, and who, in the war of 1897, 
were on the Turkish side. Finally a debased currency pointed to the 
financial decline of the Byzantine Government. In short, the Empire 
was ripe for the Latin conquest. It was not long delayed. 



III. FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

i. THE FRANKISH CONQUEST OF GREECE 

Professor Krumbacher says in his History of Byzantine 
Literature, that, when he announced his intention of devoting 
himself to that subject, one of his classical friends solemnly remon- 
strated with him, on the ground that there could be nothing of interest 
in a period when the Greek preposition diro governed the accusative, 
instead of the genitive case. I am afraid that many people are of the 
opinion of that orthodox grammarian. There has long prevailed in 
some quarters an idea that, from the time of the Roman conquest in 
146 B.C. to the day when Archbishop Germanos raised the standard 
of Independence at Kalavryta in 1821, the annals of Greece were 
practically a blank, and that that country thus enjoyed for nearly 
twenty centuries that form of happiness which consists in having no 
history. Fifty years ago there was, perhaps, some excuse for this 
theory; but the case is very different now. The great cemeteries of 
Mediaeval Greece — I mean the Archives of Venice, Naples, Palermo 
and Barcelona — have given up their dead. We know now, year by 
year, yes, almost month by month, the vicissitudes of Hellas under 
her Frankish masters, and all that is required now is to breathe life 
into the dry bones, and bring upon the stage in flesh and blood that 
picturesque and motley crowd of Burgundian, Flemish and Lombard 
nobles, German knights, rough soldiers of fortune from Catalufia and 
Navarre, Florentine financiers, Neapolitan courtiers, shrewd Venetian 
and Genoese merchant princes, and last, but not least, the bevy of 
high-born dames, sprung from the oldest families of France, who make 
up, together with the Greek archons and the Greek serfs, the persons 
of the romantic drama, of which Greece was the theatre for 250 years. 
The history of Frankish Greece begins with the Fourth Crusade. 
I need not recapitulate the oft-told story of that memorable expedition, 
which influenced for centuries the annals of Eastern Europe, and which 
forms the historical basis of the Eastern question. We all know, from 
the paintings of the Doge's Palace, how the Crusaders set out with the 
laudable object of freeing the Holy Sepulchre from the Infidel, how they 
turned aside to the easier and more lucrative task of overturning the 
oldest Empire in the world, and how they placed on the throne of all the 



58 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

Caesars Count Baldwin of Flanders as first Latin Emperor of Constan- 
tinople. The Greeks fled to Asia Minor, and there at Nice, the city of 
the famous Council, and at Trebizond on the shores of the Black Sea, 
founded two Empires, of which the latter existed for over 250 years. 

When the Crusaders and their Venetian allies sat down to partition 
the Byzantine Empire among themselves, they paid no heed to the 
rights of nationalities or to the wishes of the people whose fate hung 
upon their decisions. A fourth part of the Byzantine dominions, con- 
sisting of the capital, the adjacent districts of Europe and Asia, and 
several of the islands, was first set aside to form the new Latin Empire 
of Romania. The remaining three-fourths were then divided in equal 
shares between the Venetian Republic and the Crusaders, whose leader 
was Boniface of Montferrat in the North of Italy, the rival of Baldwin 
for the throne of the East. The Greek provinces in Asia, and the island 
of Crete had originally been intended as his share of the spoil; but he 
wished to obtain a compact extent of territory nearer his own home 
and his wife's native land of Hungary, and accordingly sold Crete to 
the Venetians, and established himself as King of Salonika with 
sovereignty over a large part of Greece, as yet unconquered. The 
Venetians, with their shrewd commercial instincts and their much more 
intimate knowledge of the country, secured all the best harbours, islands 
and markets in the Levant — an incident which shows that an acquaint- 
ance with geography may sometimes be useful to politicians. 

In the autumn of 1204 Boniface set out to conquer his Greek 
dominions. The King of Salonika belonged to a family, which was no 
stranger to the ways of the Orient. One of his brothers had married 
the daughter of the Greek Emperor Manuel I ; another brother and a 
nephew were Kings of Jerusalem — a vain dignity which has descended 
from them, together with the Marquisate of Montferrat, to the present 
Italian dynasty. Married to the affable widow of the Greek Emperor 
Isaac II, Boniface was a sympathetic figure to the Greeks, who had 
speedily flocked in numbers to his side, and several of whom accompanied 
him on his march through Greece. Among these was the bastard 
Michael Angelos, of whom we shall hear later as the founder of a new 
dynasty. With the King of Salonika there went too a motley crowd 
of Crusaders in quest of fiefs, men of many nationalities, Lombards, 
Flemings, Frenchmen and Germans. There were Guillaume de 
Champlitte, a grandson of the Count of Champagne ; Othon de la Roche, 
son of a Burgundian noble; Jacques d'Avesnes, son of a Flemish 
crusader who had been at the siege of Acre, and his two nephews, 
Jacques and Nicholas de St Omer; Berthold von Katzenellenbogen, a 



THE FRANKISH CONQUEST 59 

Rhenish warrior who had given the signal for setting fire to Constanti- 
nople; the Marquess Guido Pallavicini, youngest son of a nobleman 
from near Parma, who had gone to Greece because at home every 
common man could hale him before the courts; Thomas de Stromon- 
court, and Ravano dalle Carceri of Verona, brother of the podestd 
Realdo, whose name still figures on the Casa dei Mercanti there. Just 
as the modern general takes with him a band of war-correspondents 
to chronicle his achievements, so Boniface was accompanied by Ram- 
baud de Vaqueiras, a troubadour from Provence, who afterwards 
boasted in one of the letters in verse which he addressed to his patron, 
that he "had helped him to conquer the Empire of the East and the 
Kingdom of Salonika, the island of Pelops and the Duchy of Athens." 
Such were the men at whose head the Marquess of Montferrat marched 
through the classic vale of Tempe, the route of so many armies, into 
the great fertile plain of Thessaly. 

While the Crusaders are traversing the vale of Tempe, let us ask 
ourselves for a moment, who were the races, and what was the condition, 
of the country which they were about to enter? The question is 
important, for the answer to it will enable us to understand the ease 
with which a small body of Franks conquered, almost without opposi- 
tion, nearly the whole of Greece. The bulk of the inhabitants were, 
of course, Greeks; for no one, except a few propagandists, now believes 
the theory, so confidently advanced by Professor Fallmerayer 90 years 
ago, according to which there is not a single drop of Hellenic blood 
in the Greek nation, but the Kingdom of Greece is inhabited by Slavs 
and Albanians. At the time of the Frankish conquest, the Slavonic 
elements in the population, the survivals of the Slavonic immigrations 
of the dark centuries, were confined to the mountain fastnesses of 
Arcadia and Laconia, where Taygetos was known as "the mountain 
of the Slavs." The marvellous power of the Hellenic race for absorbing 
and hellenising foreign nationalities — a power like that of the Americans 
in our own day — had prevented the Peloponnese from becoming a 
Slav state, a Southern Serbia or Bulgaria, though such Slavonic names 
as Charvati near Mycenae and Slavochorio still preserve the memory 
of the Slavonic settlements. As for the Albanians, they had not yet 
entered Greece; had they done so, the conquest would probably have 
been far less easy. Besides the Greeks and the Slavs, there were 
Wallachs in Thessaly, who extended as far south as Lamia, and who 
had bestowed upon the whole of that region the name, which we find 
employed by the Byzantine historian Niketas, of "Great Wallachia." 
That the Wallachs are of Roman descent, scarcely admits of doubt; 



60 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

at the present day the Roumanians claim them as their kinsmen; and 
the "Koutso" — or "lame," Wallachs, so-called because they cannot 
pronounce chinch (or cinque) correctly, form one of the most thorny 
questions of contemporary diplomacy. The Jewish traveller, Benjamin 
of Tudela, who visited Greece about 40 years before the Frankish 
conquest, argued from their Scriptural names and from the fact that 
they called the Jews " brethren," that they were connected with his own 
race. They showed, however, their "brotherly" love by merely robbing 
the Israelites, while they both robbed and murdered the Greeks. 

In the south-east of the Peloponnese were to be found the mysterious 
T^akones, a race which now exists at Leonidi and the adjacent villages 
alone, but which then occupied a wider area. Opinions differ as to the 
origin of this tribe, which still retains a dialect quite distinct from that 
spoken anywhere else in Greek lands and which was noticed as a 
"barbarian" tongue by the Byzantine satirist, Mazaris, in the fifteenth 
century. But Dr Deffner of Athens, the greatest living authority on 
their language, of which he has written a grammar, regards them as 
the descendants of the ancient Laconians, their name as a corruption 
of the words Tovs AdKcavas, and their speech as " new Doric." Scattered 
about, wherever money was to be made by trade, were colonies of Jews. 

The rule of the Franks must have seemed to many Greeks a welcome 
relief from the financial oppression of the Byzantine Government. 
Greece was, at the date of the Conquest, afflicted by three terrible 
plagues: the tax collectors, the pirates, and the native tyrants. The 
Imperial Government did nothing for the provinces, but wasted the 
money which should have been spent on the defences of Greece, in 
extravagant ostentation at the capital. Byzantine officials, sent to 
Greece, regarded that classic land, in the phrase of Niketas, as an 
"utter hole," an uncomfortable place of exile. The two Greek provinces 
were governed by one of these authorities, styled prcetor, protoprcetor, 
or "general," whose headquarters were at Thebes. We have from the 
pen of Michael Akominatos, the last Metropolitan of Athens before 
the conquest and brother of the historian Niketas, a vivid account of 
the exactions of these personages. Theoretically, the city of Athens 
was a privileged community. A golden bull of the Emperor forbade 
the prcBtor to enter it with an armed force, so that the Athenians might 
be spared the annoyance and expense of having soldiers quartered 
upon them. Its regular contribution to the Imperial Exchequer was 
limited to a land-tax, and it was expected to send a golden wreath as 
a coronation offering to a new Emperor. But, in practice, these 
privileges were apt to be ignored. The indignant Metropolitan complains 



THE FRANKISH CONQUEST 61 

that the prcetor, under the pretext of worshipping in the Church of 
"Our Lady of Athens," as the Parthenon was then called, visited the 
city with a large retinue. He laments that one of these Imperial 
Governors had treated the city "more barbarously than Xerxes," and 
that the leaves of the trees, nay almost every hair on the heads of the 
unfortunate Athenians, had been numbered. The authority of the 
prcetor, he says, is like Medea in the legend; just as she scattered her 
poisons over Thessaly, so it scatters injustice over Greece — a classical 
simile, which had its justification in the hard fact, that it had long been 
the custom of the Byzantine Empire to pay the Governors of the 
European provinces no salaries, but to make their office self-supporting, 
a practice still followed by the Turkish Government. The Byzantine 
Government, too, following a policy similar to that which cost our 
King Charles I his throne, levied ship-money, really for the purpose 
of its own coffers, nominally for the suppression of piracy. 

Piracy was then, as so often, the curse of the islands and the deeply 
indented coast of Greece. We learn from the English Chronicle ascribed 
to Benedict of Peterborough, which gives a graphic account of Greece 
as it was in 1191, that many of the islands were uninhabited from fear 
of pirates, and that others were their chosen lairs. Cephalonia and 
Ithake, which now appears under its mediaeval name of Val di Compare 
— first used, so far as I know by the Genoese historian, Caffaro, in the 
first half of the twelfth century — had a specially evil reputation, and 
bold was the sailor who dared venture through the channel between 
them. Near Athens, the island of Mgina. was a stronghold of corsairs, 
who injured the property of the Athenian Church, and dangerously 
wounded the nephew of the Metropolitan. Yet the remedy for piracy 
was almost worse than the disease. Well might the anxious Metropolitan 
tell the Lord High Admiral, that the Athenians regarded their proximity 
to the sea as the greatest of their misfortunes. 

Besides the Byzantine officials and the pirates, the Greeks had a 
third set of tormentors in the shape of a brood of native tyrants, whose 
feuds divided city against city and divided communities into rival 
parties. Even where the Emperor had been nominally sovereign, the 
real power was in the hands of local magnates, who had revived, on 
the eve of the Frankish conquest, the petty tyrannies of ancient Greece. 
Under the dynasty of the Comneni, who imitated and introduced the 
ways of Western chivalry, feudalism had already made considerable 
inroads into the East. At the time of the Fourth Crusade, local families 
were in possession of large tracts of territory which they governed 
almost like independent princes. Of all these archontes, as they were 



62 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

called, the most powerful was Leon Sgouros, hereditary lord of Nauplia, 
who had extended his sway over Argos "of the goodly steeds," and had 
seized the city and fortress of Corinth, proudly styling himself by a 
high-sounding Byzantine title, and placing his fortunes under the 
protection of St Theodore the Warrior. The manners of these local 
magnates were no less savage than those of the Western barons of the 
same period. Thus, Sgouros on one occasion invited the Archbishop 
of Corinth to dinner, and then put out the eyes of his guest, and hurled 
him over the rocks of the citadel. The contemporary historian Niketas 
has painted in the darkest colours the character of the Greek archontes, 
upon whom he lays the chief responsibility for the evils which befell 
their country. He speaks of them as "inflamed by ambition against 
their own fatherland, slavish men, spoiled by luxury, who made them- 
selves tyrants, instead of righting the Latins." The Emperor and 
historian, John Cantacuzene, gives much the same description of their 
descendants a century and a half later. 

Such was the condition of Greece, when Boniface and his army 
emerged from the vale of Tempe and marched across the plain of 
Thessaly to Larissa. He bestowed that ancient city upon a Lombard 
noble, who henceforth styled himself Guglielmo de Larsa from the 
name of his fief. Velestino, the ancient Pherse, the scene of the legend 
of Admetos and Alcestis, and the site of the modern battle, fell to the 
share of Berthold von Katzenellenbogen, whose name must have proved 
a stumbling-block to his Thessalian vassals. The army then took the 
usual route by way of Pharsala and Domoko — names familiar alike 
in the ancient and modern history of Greek warfare — down to Lamia 
and thence across the Trachinian plain to Thermopylae, where Sgouros 
was awaiting it. But the memories of Leonidas failed to inspire the 
archon of Nauplia to follow his example. Niketas tells us that the mere 
sight of the Latin knights in their coats of mail sufficed to make him 
flee straight to his own fastness of Akrocorinth, leaving the pass un- 
defended. Conscious of its strength — for Thermopylae must have been 
far more of a defile then than now — Boniface resolved to secure it 
permanently against attack. He therefore invested the Marquess Guido 
Pallavicini, nicknamed by the Greeks " Marchesopoulo," with the fief 
of Boudonitza, which commanded the other end of the pass. Thus 
arose the famous Marquisate of Boudonitza, which was destined to 
play an important part in the Frankish history of Greece, and which, 
after a continuous existence of over two centuries, as guardian of the 
Northern marches, has left a memory of its fallen greatness in the ruins 
of the castle and chapel of its former lords, of whose descendants, the 



THE FRANKISH CONQUEST 63 

Zorzi of Venice, there axe still living — so Mr Horatio Brown informs 
me — some thirty representatives in that city. Following the present 
carriage-road from Lamia to the Corinthian Gulf, Boniface established 
another defensive post at the pass of Gravia, so famous centuries after- 
wards in the War of Independence, conferring it as a fief on the two 
brothers Jacques and Nicholas de St Omer. At the foot of Parnassos, 
on the site of the ancient Amphissa, he next founded the celebrated 
barony of Salona, which lasted almost as long as the Marquisate of 
Boudonitza. Upon the almost Cyclopean stones of the classic Akropolis 
of Amphissa, which Philip of Macedon had destroyed fifteen centuries 
before, Thomas de Stromoncourt built- himself the fortress, of which 
the majestic ruins — perhaps the finest Frankish remains in Greece — 
still stand among the cornfields on the hill above the modern town. 
According to the local tradition, the name of Salona, which the place 
still bears in common parlance, despite the usual official efforts to revive 
the classical terminology, is derived from the King of Salonika, its 
second founder. The lord of Salona soon extended his sway down to 
the harbour of Galaxidi, and the barony became so important that two 
at least of the house of Stromoncourt struck coins of their own, which 
are still preserved. 

Boniface next marched into Bceotia, where the people, glad to be 
relieved from the oppression of Sgouros, at once submitted. Thebes 
joyfully opened her gates, and then the invaders pursued their way to 
Athens. The Metropolitan thought it useless to defend the city, and a 
Frankish guard was soon stationed on the Akropolis. The Crusaders 
had no respect for the great Cathedral. To these soldiers of fortune the 
classic glories of the Parthenon appealed as little as the sanctity of the 
Orthodox Church. The rich treasury of the Cathedral was plundered, 
the holy vessels were melted down, the library which the Metropolitan 
had collected was dispersed. Unable to bear the sight, Akominatos 
quitted the scene where he had laboured so long, and, after wandering 
about for a time, finally settled down in the island of Keos, whence he 
could at least see the coast of Attica. 

Thebes with Bceotia and Athens with Attica and the Megarid were 
bestowed by the King of Salonika upon his trusty comrade in arms, Othon 
de la Roche, who had rendered him a valuable service by assisting to 
settle a serious dispute between him and the Emperor Baldwin, and 
who afterwards negotiated the marriage between Boniface's daughter 
and Baldwin's brother and successor. Thus, in the words of a monkish 
chronicler, "Othon de la Roche, son of a certain Burgundian noble, 
became, as by a miracle, Duke of the Athenians and Thebans." The 



64 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

chronicler was only wrong in the title which he attributed to the lucky 
Frenchman, who had thus succeeded to the glories of the heroes and 
sages of Athens. Othon modestly styled himself Sire d'Athenes, or 
Dominus Athenarum in official documents, which his Greek subjects 
magnified into "the Great Lord" (Meyas tcvp), and Dante, who had 
probably heard that such had been the title of the first Frankish ruler 
of Athens, transferred it by a poetic anachronism to Peisistratos. Half 
a century after the conquest, Othon's nephew and successor, Guy I, 
received, at his request, the title of Duke from Louis IX of France — and 
Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Chaucer in The Knight's 
Tale have by a similar anachronism conferred the ducal title of the De 
la Roche upon Theseus, the legendary founder of Athens. Contemporary 
accounts make no mention of any resistance to the Lord of Athens on 
the part of the Greeks. Later Venetian authors, however, actuated 
perhaps by patriotic bias, propagated a story, that the Athenians sent 
an embassy to offer their city to Venice, but that their scheme was 
frustrated "not without bloodshed by the men of Champagne under 
the Lord de la Roche." 

We naturally ask ourselves what was the appearance and condition 
of the most famous city of the ancient world at the time of Othon's 
accession, and the voluminous writings of the eminent man who was 
Metropolitan at that moment, which have been published by Professor 
Lampros of Athens, throw a flood of light upon the Athens of the 
beginning of the thirteenth century. The only Athenian manufactures 
were soap and the weaving of monkish habits, but the ships of the 
Piraeus still took part in the purple-fishing off the lonely island of 
Gyaros, the Botany Bay of the Roman Empire. There was still some 
trade at the Piraeus, for the Byzantine Admiral had found vessels 
there. It was then guarded by the huge lion, now in front of the 
arsenal at Venice, which gave the harbour its mediaeval name of Porto 
Leone, and on which Harold Hardrada, afterwards slain at Stamford 
Bridge, had scratched his name nearly two centuries before. We may 
infer, too, from the mention of Athens in the commercial treaties 
between Venice and the Byzantine Empire that the astute Republicans 
saw some prospect of making money there. But the " thin soil " of Attica 
was as unproductive as in the days of Thucydides, and yielded nothing 
but oil, honey, and wine, the last strongly flavoured with resin, as it 
still is, so that the Metropolitan could write to a friend that it "seems 
to be pressed from the juice of the pine rather than from that of the 
grape." The harvest was always meagre, and famines were common. 
Even ordinary necessaries were not always obtainable. Akominatos 



THE FRANKISH CONQUEST 65 

could not find a decent carriage-builder in the place ; and, in his despair 
at the absence of blacksmiths and workers in iron, he was constrained 
to apply to Athens the words of Jeremiah: "the bellows are burnt." 
Emigration, still the curse of Greece, was draining off the able-bodied 
poor, so that the population had greatly diminished, and the city 
threatened to become what Aristophanes had called "a Scythian 
wilderness." 

Externally, the visitor to the Athens of that day, must have been 
struck by the marked contrast between the splendid monuments of 
the classic age and the squalid surroundings of the mediaeval town. 
The walls were lying in ruins, the houses of the emigrants had been 
pulled down, the streets, where once the sages of antiquity had walked, 
were now desolate. But the hand of the invader and the tooth of time 
had, on the whole, dealt gently with the Athenian monuments. The 
Parthenon, converted long before into the Cathedral of Our Lady of 
Athens, was almost as little damaged, as if it had only just been built. 
The metopes, the pediments, and the frieze were still intact, and 
remained so when, more than two centuries later, Cyriacus of Ancona, 
the first archaeologist who had ever visited Athens during the Frankish 
period, drew his sketch of the Parthenon, which is still preserved in 
Berlin and of which a copy by Sangallo may be seen in the Vatican 
library. On the walls were the frescoes, traces of which are still visible, 
executed by order of the Emperor Basil II, "the slayer of the Bul- 
garians," nearly two centuries earlier. Over the altar was a golden 
dove, representing the Holy Ghost, and ever flying with perpetual 
motion. In the cathedral, too, was an ever-burning lamp, fed by oil 
that never failed, which was the marvel of the pilgrims. So wide- 
spread was the fame of the Athenian Minster, that the great folk of 
Constantinople, in spite of their supercilious contempt for the provinces 
and their dislike of travel, came to do obeisance there. Of the other 
ancient buildings on the sacred rock, the graceful temple of Nike Apteros 
had been turned into a chapel; the Erechtheion had become a church 
of the Saviour, or a chapel of the Virgin, while the episcopal residence, 
which is known to have then been on the Akropolis, was probably in 
the Propylaea. The whole Akropolis had for centuries been made into a 
fortress, the only defence which Athens then possessed, strong enough 
to have resisted the attack of a Greek magnate like Sgouros, but 
incapable of repulsing a Latin army. Already strange legends and 
new names had begun to grow round some of the classical monuments. 
The Choragic monument of Lysikrates was already popularly known 
as "the lantern of Demosthenes," its usual designation during the 

m. 5 






66 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

Turkish domination, when it became the Capuchin Convent, serving 
in 18 1 1 as a study to Lord Byron, who from within its walls launched 
his bitter poem against the filcher of the Elgin marbles. But, even at 
the beginning of the thirteenth century, many of the ancient names 
of places lingered in the mouths of the people. The classically cultured 
Metropolitan was gratified as a good Philhellene, to hear that the 
Piraeus and Hymettos, Eleusis and Marathon, the Areopagos and 
Kallirrhoe, Salamis and ^Egina were still called by names, which the 
contemporaries of Perikles had used, even though the Areopagos was 
nothing but a bare rock, the plain of Marathon yielded no corn, and 
the "beautifully-flowing" fountain had ceased to flow. But new, 
uncouth names were beginning to creep in; thus, the partition treaty 
of 1204 describes Salamis as "Culuris" (or, "the lizard"), a vulgar 
name, derived from the shape of the island, which I have heard used 
in Attica at the present day. 

Of the intellectual condition of Athens we should form but a low 
estimate, if we judged entirely from the lamentations of the elegant 
Byzantine scholar whom fate had made its Metropolitan. Akominatos 
had found that his tropes, and fine periods, and classical allusions were 
far over the heads of the Athenians who came to hear him, and who 
talked in his cathedral, even though that cathedral was the Parthenon. 
He wrote that his long residence in Greece had made him a barbarian. 
Yet he was able to add to his store of manuscripts in this small provincial 
town. Moreover, there is some evidence to prove that, even at this 
period, Athens was a place of study, whither Georgians from the East 
and English from the West came to obtain a liberal education. Matthew 
Paris tells us of Master John of Basingstoke, Archdeacon of Leicester 
in the reign of Henry III, who used often to say, that whatever scientific 
knowledge he possessed had been acquired from the youthful daughter 
of the Archbishop of Athens. This young lady could forecast the advent 
of pestilences, thunderstorms, eclipses, and earthquakes. From learned 
Greeks at Athens Master John professed to have heard some things of 
which the Latins had no knowledge; he found there the testaments 
of the twelve Patriarchs, and he brought back to England the Greek 
numerals and many books, including a Greek grammar which had been 
compiled for him at Athens. The same author tells us, too, of "certain 
Greek philosophers" — that is, in mediaeval Greek parlance, monks — 
who came from Athens at this very time to the Court of King John, 
and disputed about nice sharp quillets of theology with English divines. 
It is stated, also, though on indifferent authority, as Mr F. C. Conybeare 
of Oxford kindly informs me, that the Georgian poet, Chota Roustavdli, 



THE FRANKISH CONQUEST 67 

and other Georgians spent several years at Athens on the eve of the 
Frankish conquest. 

Othon de la Roche showed his gratitude to his benefactor, the King 
of Salonika, by accompanying him in his attack upon the strongholds 
of Sgouros in the Peloponnese. The Franks routed the Greek army 
at the Isthmus of Corinth, and while Othon laid siege to the noble castle 
above that town, Boniface proceeded to the attack on Nauplia. There 
he was joined by a man, who was destined to be the conqueror and 
ruler of the peninsula. 

It chanced that, a little before the capture of Constantinople, 
Geoffroy de Villehardouin, nephew of the quaint chronicler of the Fourth 
Crusade, had set out on a pilgrimage to Palestine. On his arrival in 
Syria, he heard of the great achievements of the Crusaders, and resolved 
without loss of time to join them. But his ship was driven out of its 
course by a violent storm, and Geoffroy was forced to take shelter in 
the harbour of Methone on the coast of Messenia. During the winter 
of 1204, which he spent at that spot, he received an invitation from a 
local magnate to join him in an attack on the lands of the neighbouring 
Greeks. Villehardouin, nothing loth, placed his sword at the disposal 
of the Greek traitor, and success crowned the arms of these unnatural 
allies. But the Greek archon died, and his son, more patriotic or more 
prudent than his father, repudiated the dangerous alliance with the 
Frankish stranger. But it was too late. Villehardouin had discovered 
the fatal secret, that the Greeks of the Peloponnese were an unwarlike 
race, whose land would fall an easy conquest to a resolute band of 
Latins. At this moment, tidings reached him that Boniface was be- 
sieging Nauplia. He at once set out on a six days' journey across a 
hostile country to seek his aid. In the camp he found his old friend 
and fellow-countryman, Guillaume de Champlitte, who was willing to 
assist him. He described to Champlitte the richness of the land which 
men called "the Morea" — a term which now occurs for the first time 
in history, and which seems to have been originally applied to the 
coast of Elis and thence extended to the whole peninsula, just as the 
name Italy, originally a part of Calabria, has similarly spread over the 
whole of that country. He professed his readiness to recognise Champlitte 
as his liege lord in return for his aid, and Boniface consented, after 
some hesitation, to their undertaking. With a hundred knights and 
some men-at-arms, the two friends rode out from the camp before 
Nauplia to conquer the peninsula. 

The conquest of the Morea has been compared with that of England 
by the Normans. In both cases a single pitched battle decided the fate 

5—2 



68 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

of the country, but in the Morea, the conquerors did not, as in England, 
amalgamate with the conquered. The Hastings of the Peloponnese was 
fought in the olive-grove of Koundoura, in the North-East of Messenia, 
and the little Frankish force of between 500 and 700 men easily routed 
the over-confident Greeks, aided by the Slavs of Taygetos, who altogether 
numbered from 4000 to 6000. After this, one place after another fell 
into the hands of the Franks, who showed towards the conquered that 
tact which we believe to be one of the chief causes of our own success 
in dealing with subject races. Provided that their religion was respected, 
the Greeks were not unwilling to accept the Franks as their masters, 
and on this point the conquerors, who were not bigots, made no 
difficulties. By the year 1212, the whole of the peninsula was Frankish, 
except where the Greek flag still waved over the impregnable rock of 
Monemvasia, the St Michael's Mount of Greece, and where at the two 
stations of Methone and Korone in Messenia Venice had raised the 
lion-banner of St Mark. Insignificant as they are now, those twin 
colonies were of great value to the Venetian traders, and there is a 
whole literature about them in the Venetian Archives. All the galleys 
stopped there on the way to Syria and Crete; pilgrims to the Holy 
Land found a welcome there in "the German house," founded by the 
Teutonic Knights, and as late as 1532 there was a Christian Governor 
at Korone. The population was then removed to Sicily, and of those 
exiles the present Albanian monks of Grottaf errata are the descendants. 
I have now described the conquest of the mainland; it remains to 
speak of the islands, which had mostly been allotted to Venice by the 
treaty of partition. But the shrewd Government saw that its resources 
could not stand the strain of conquering and administering the large 
group of the Cyclades. It was, therefore, decided to leave to private 
citizens the task of occupying them. There was no lack of enterprise 
among the Venetians of that day, and on the bench of the Consular 
Court, as we should now call it, at Constantinople, sat the very man for 
such an enterprise — Marco Sanudo, nephew of " the old Doge Dandolo." 
Sanudo descended from the bench, gathered round him a band of 
adventurous spirits, equipped eight galleys and was soon master of 
seventeen islands, some of which he distributed as fiefs to his comrades. 
Naxos alone offered any real resistance, and, in 1207, the conqueror 
founded the Duchy of "the Dodekannesos " (or "Twelve Islands," as 
the Byzantines called it), which soon received the title of the "Duchy 
of Naxos," or "of the Archipelago" — a corruption of the name " Mgeo- 
pelagos," which occurs as early as a Venetian document of 1268. This 
delectable Duchy lasted, first under the Sanudi, and then under the Crispi, 



THE FRANKISH CONQUEST 69 

till 1566, while the Gozzadini of Bologna held seven of the islands down to 
16 17, and Tenos remained in Venetian hands till it was finally taken in 
17 15 and ceded to the Turks by the peace of Passarovitz in 17 18. For 
persons so important as the Dukes it was necessary to invent a truly 
Roman genealogy ; accordingly, the Paduan biographer, Zabarella, makes 
the Sanudi descend from the historian Livy, while the Crispi, not to be 
beaten, claimed Sallust as their ancestor, and may, perhaps, be regarded 
as the forbears of the late Italian Prime Minister, Francesco Crispi. 

The two great islands of Crete and Euboea had very different 
fortunes. Crete, as we saw, was sold by Boniface to the Venetians, 
and remained a Venetian colony for nearly five centuries. Euboea, 
or Negroponte, as it was called in the Middle Ages, was divided by 
Boniface into three large baronies, which were assigned to three 
Lombard nobles from Verona, who styled themselves the terriers, 
or terzieri. We have no English equivalent for the word; perhaps, 
borrowing a hint from Shakespeare, we may call them "the three 
Gentlemen of Verona." But Venice soon established a colony, governed 
by a bailie, at Chalkis, the capital of the island, and the subsequent 
history of Negroponte shows the gradual extension of Venetian influence 
over the Lombards. 

The seven Ionian Islands naturally fall into three divisions. Kythera 
(or Cerigo) in the far South; the central group, consisting of Zante, 
Cephalonia, Ithaka, and Levkas (or Santa Maura); and Corfu and 
Paxo in the North. Of these divisions, the first fell to the share of a 
scion of the great Venetian family of Venier — a family which traced 
its name and descent from Venus, and naturally claimed the island, 
where she had risen from the sea. Zante, Cephalonia and Ithake had 
a very curious history — a history long obscure, but now well ascertained. 
They belonged to Count Maio (or Matteo) Orsini, a member of the 
great Roman family, who came, as the Spanish Chronicle of the Morea 
informs us, from Monopoli in Apulia. This bold adventurer, half -pirate, 
half-crusader, — a not unusual combination in those days — thus suc- 
ceeded to the realm of Odysseus, which was thenceforth known, from 
his title, as the County Palatine of Cephalonia. Corfu with its appendage 
of Paxo, was at first assigned to ten nobles of the Republic in return 
for an annual payment. But, ere long, those two islands, together 
with Levkas, which is scarcely an island at all, were included in the 
dominions of a Greek prince, the bastard Michael Angelos, who had 
slipped away from the camp of Boniface, and had established himself, 
by an opportune marriage with the widow of the late Byzantine 
governor, as independent Greek sovereign of Epeiros. His wife was a 



70 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

native of the country; his father had been its governor; he thus appealed 
to the national feelings of the natives, whose mountainous country 
has in all ages defied the attacks of invading armies. A man of great 
vigour, he soon extended his sway from his capital of Arta to Durazzo 
in the North, and to the Corinthian Gulf in the South, and his dominions, 
known as the principality, or Despotat of Epeiros, served as the rallying 
point of Hellenism — the only portion of Greece, except Monemvasia, 
which still remained Greek. 

I would fain have said something of the inner life of Frankish 
Greece — of its society, of its literature, and of the great influence which 
women exercised in its affairs. But for these subjects there is no time 
left. I would only add, in conclusion, that the Frankish conquest of 
Greece affords the clue to one of the vexed problems of modern literature 
— the second part of Goethe's Faust, which an American scholar, 
Dr Schmitt, has shown to have been inspired by the account given in 
the Chronicle of the Morea, a work which was first printed by Buchon 
in 1825, at the time when Goethe was engaged on that part of his 
famous tragedy. Its origin is obvious from the following lines, which 
he puts into the mouth of his hero : 

I hail you Dukes, as forth ye sally 
Beneath the rule of Sparta's Queen 1 ! 
Thine, German, be the hand that forges 
Defence for Corinth and her bays : 
Achaia, with its hundred gorges, 
I give thee, Goth, to hold and raise. 
Towards Elis, Franks, direct your motion; 
Messene be the Saxon's state: 
The Norman claim and sweep the Ocean, 
And Argolis again make great. 

2. FRANKISH SOCIETY IN GREECE 

We saw in the last essay, how at the beginning of the thirteenth 
century a small body of Franks conquered nearly the whole of Greece, 
and how, as the result of their conquests, a group of Latin states sprang 
into existence in that country — the Duchies of Athens and of the Archi- 
pelago, the principality of Achaia, the County Palatine of Cephalonia, 
the three baronies of Eubcea, and the Venetian colony of Crete, while 
at two points alone — in the mountains of Epeiros and on the isolated 
rock of Monemvasia, so well-known to our ancestors as the place whence 
they obtained their Malmsey wine — the Greek flag still waved. In the 

1 An absolutely historical fact, because the Princes of Achaia claimed to be 
suzerains of the two Dukes of Athens and Naxos. 



FRANKISH SOCIETY IN GREECE 71 

present essay, I would give some account of Frankish organisation, 
political and ecclesiastical, of Frankish society, and of Frankish literature. 

The usual tendency of the desperately logical Latin intellect, when 
brought face to face with a new set of political conditions, is to frame 
a paper constitution, absolutely perfect in theory, and absolutely 
unworkable in practice. But the French noblemen whom an extra- 
ordinary accident had converted into Spartan and Athenian law-givers, 
resisted this temptation, nor did they seek inspiration from the laws of 
Solon and Lycurgus. They fortunately possessed a model, the Assizes 
of Jerusalem which had been drawn up a century before for that King- 
dom, and which, under the name of the Book of the Customs of the 
Empire of Romania — a work still preserved in a Venetian version of 
1452 drawn up for the island of Eubcea — was applied to all the Frankish 
states in Greece. This feudal constitution, barbarous as it may seem 
to our modern ideas, seems to have worked well ; at any rate, it was tried 
by the best test, that of experience, and lasted, with one small amend- 
ment, for 250 years. In Achaia, about which we have most information, 
a commission was appointed, consisting of two Latin bishops, two 
bannerets, and five leading Greeks, under the presidency of Geoffroy 
de Villehardouin, for the purpose of dividing the Morea into fiefs and 
of assigning these to the members of the conquering force according 
to their wealth and the numbers of their followers, and the book, or 
"register" as the Chronicler calls it, containing the report of this 
commission, was then laid before a Parliament, held at Andravida, or 
Andreville, in Elis, now a small village which the traveller passes in 
the train between Patras and Olympia, but then the capital of the 
principality of Achaia. 

According to this Achaian Doomsday-book, twelve baronies, whose 
number recalls the twelve peers of Charlemagne, were created, then- 
holders, with the other lieges, forming a High Court, which not only 
advised the Prince in political matters but acted as a judicial tribunal 
for the decision of feudal questions. In the creation of these twelve 
baronies due regard was paid to the fact that the Franks were a military 
colony in the midst of an alien, and possibly hostile, population, spread 
over a country possessing remarkable strategic positions. Later on, 
after the distribution of the baronies, strong castles were erected in 
each upon some natural coign of vantage, from which the baron could 
overawe the surrounding country. The main object of this system 
may be seen from the name of the famous Arcadian fortress of Mata- 
grifon, a name given also to our Richard Fs castle at Messina 1 , (" Kill- 
1 G. de Vinsauf, Ttin. Rice. I, 11. 24. 



72 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

Greek," the Greeks being usually called Grifon by the French 
chroniclers), built near the modern Demetsana by the baron of Akova, 
Gautier de Rozieres, to protect the rich valley of the Alpheios. The 
splendid remains of the castle of Karytaina, the Greek Toledo, which 
dominates the gorge of that classic river, which the Franks called 
Charbon, still mark the spot where Hugues de Bruyeres and his son 
Geoffroy built a stronghold out of the ruins of the Hellenic Brenthe 
to terrify the Slavs of Skorta, the ancient Gortys and the home of the 
late Greek Prime Minister, Delyannes. The special importance of these 
two baronies was demonstrated by the bestowal of 24 knights' fees 
upon the former and of 22 upon the latter. The castle-crowned hill 
of Passava, so-called, not, as Fallmerayer imagined, from a Slavonic 
Passau, but from the French war-cry Passe Avant, still reminds us 
how Jean de Neuilly, hereditary marshal of Achaia and holder of four 
fiefs, once watched the restless men of Maina; and, if earthquakes 
have left no mediaeval buildings at Vostitza, the classic Aigion, where 
Hugues de Lille de Charpigny received eight kinghts' fees, his family 
name still survives in the village of Kerpine, now a station on the 
funicular railway between Diakophto and Kalavryta. At Kalavryta 
itself Othon de Tournay, and at Chalandritza to the south of Patras 
Audebert de la Tremouille, scion of a family famous in the history of 
France, were established, with twelve and four fiefs respectively. 
Veligosti near Megalopolis with four fell to the share of the Belgian 
Matthieu de Valaincourt de Mons, and Nikli near Tegea with six to that 
of Guillaume de Morlay. Guy de Nivelet kept the Tzakones of Leonidi 
in check and watched the plain of Lakonia from his barony of Geraki 
with its six fiefs — a castle which has been surveyed by the British School 
at Athens — and Gritzena, entrusted to a baron named Luke with four 
fiefs depending on it guarded the ravines of the mountainous region 
round Kalamata. Patras became the barony of Guillaume Aleman, a 
member of a Provencal family still existing at Corfu, and the bold 
baron did not scruple to build his castle out of the house and church 
of the Latin Archbishop. Finally, the dozen was completed by the 
fiefs of Kalamata and Kyparissia (or Arkadia, as it was called in the 
Middle Ages, when what we call Arcadia was known as Mesarea) which 
became the barony of Geoffroy de Villehardouin. In addition to these 
twelve temporal peers there were seven ecclesiastical barons, whose 
sees were carved out on the lines of the existing Greek organisation, 
and of whom Antelme of Clugny, Latin Archbishop of Patras and 
Primate of Achaia was the chief. The Archbishop received eight 
knights' fees, the bishops four a piece, and the same number was 



FRANKISH SOCIETY IN GREECE 73 

assigned to each of the three great Military Orders of the Teutonic 
Knights, the Knights of St John, and the Templars. When, a century 
later, the Templars were dissolved, their possessions went to the Knights 
of St John. In Elis was the domain of the Prince, and his usual residence, 
when he was not at Andravida, was at Lacedaemonia, or La Cremonie, 
as the Franks called it. 

After the distribution of the baronies came the assignment of 
military service. All vassals were liable to render four months' service 
in the field, and to spend four months in garrison (from which the 
prelates and the three Military Orders were alone exempted), and 
even during the remaining four months, which they could pass at 
home, they were expected to hold themselves ready to obey the summons 
of the Prince. After the age of 60, personal service was no longer 
required; but the vassal must send his son, or, if he had no son, some 
one else in his stead. Thus the Franks were on a constant war footing; 
their whole organisation was military — a fact which explains the ease 
with which they held down the unwarlike Greeks, so many times their 
superiors in numbers. This military organisation had, however, as the 
eminent modern Greek historian Paparregopoulos has pointed out, the 
effect of making the Greeks, too, imbibe in course of time something of 
the spirit of their conquerors. It is thus that we may explain the extra- 
ordinary contrast between the tameness with which the Greeks accepted 
the Frankish domination, and their frequent rebellions against that 
of the Turks. All over the Levant and even in Italy the Frankish 
chivalry of Achaia became famous. They fought against the luckless 
Conradin at Tagliacozzo, and the ruse, which won that battle and which 
Dante has ascribed to Erard de Valery, is attributed by the Chronicle 
of the Morea to Prince William of Achaia. Round the Prince there grew 
up a hierarchy of great officials with high-sounding titles, to which 
the Greeks had no difficulty in fitting Byzantine equivalents. The 
Prince himself bore a sceptre, as the symbol of his office, when he 
presided over the sessions of the High Court. 

We learn from the Book of the Customs of the Empire of Romania 
something about the way in which the feudal system worked in the 
principality of Achaia. Society was there composed of six main 
elements — the Prince, the holders of the twelve great baronies, the 
greater and lesser vassals (among whom were some Greeks), the freemen, 
and the serfs. The Prince and his twelve peers alone had the power of 
inflicting capital punishment; but even the Prince could not punish 
any of the barons without the consent of the greater vassals. If he 
were taken prisoner in battle, he could call upon his vassals to become 



74 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

hostages in his place, until he had raised the amount of his ransom. 
No one, except the twelve peers, was allowed to build a castle in 
Achaia without his permission, and without it any vassal, who left 
the country and stayed abroad, was liable to lose his fief. Leave of 
absence was, however, never refused if the vassal wished to claim the 
succession to a fief abroad, to contract a marriage, or to make a pilgrimage 
to the Holy Sepulchre, or to the Churches of St Peter and St Paul in 
Rome or to that of St James at Compostella. But in such cases the 
vassals must return within two years and two days. The vassals were 
of two classes, the greater (or ligii) and the lesser (or homines plant 
homagii), who took no part in the Council of the Prince. A liege could 
not sell his fief without the Prince's consent; but if the liege were a 
widow — for the Salic Law did not obtain in Frankish Greece, and ladies 
often held important fiefs — she might marry whom she pleased, except 
only an enemy of the Prince. When a fief fell vacant, the successor must 
needs appear to advance his claim within a year and a day if he were 
in Achaia, within two years and two days if he were abroad. It was 
the tricky application of this rule which led to the succession of Geoffroy 
de Villehardouin to the throne of Achaia. Champlitte had been sum- 
moned away to claim a fief in France, and had requested his trusted 
comrade in arms to act as his viceroy till he had sent a relative to take 
his place. When the news reached the Morea that a young cousin of 
Champlitte was on his way, Geoffroy resolved to use artifice in order 
to prevent his arrival in time. He accordingly begged the Doge to 
assist him, and the latter, who had excellent reasons for remaining on 
good terms with him, managed to entertain his passing guest at Venice 
for more than two months. When, at last, young Robert de Champlitte 
put to sea, the ship's captain received orders to leave him ashore at 
Corfu, and it was with difficulty that he managed to obtain a passage 
from there to the Morea. When he landed there he had, however, a 
few days still in hand; but the crafty Villehardouin managed by 
marching rapidly from one place to another to avoid meeting him till 
the full term prescribed by the feudal pact had expired. He was then 
informed that he had forfeited the principality, which thus fell to 
Villehardouin by a legal quibble. The pious did not, however, forget 
to point out later on, that the crime of the founder of the dynasty was 
visited upon his family to the third and fourth generation, as we shall 
see in the sequel. 

There was a great difference between feudal society in Achaia and 
in the Duchy of Athens. While in the principality the Prince was merely 
primus inter pares, at Athens the "Great Lord" had at the most one 



FRANKISH SOCIETY IN GREECE 75 

exalted noble, the head of the great house of St Omer, near his throne. 
It is obvious from the silence of all the authorities, that the Burgundians 
who settled with Othon de la Roche in his Greek dominions were men of 
inferior social position to himself — a fact further demonstrated by the 
comparative lack in Attica and Bceotia of those baronial castles, so 
common in the Morea. Indeed, it is probable that, in one respect, the 
Court of Athens under the De la Roche resembled the Court of the late 
King George, namely, that there was no one, except the members 
of his own family, with whom the ruler could associate on equal terms. 
But in Frankish, as in modern Athens, the family of the sovereign was 
soon numerous enough to form a coterie of its own. The news of their 
relative's astounding fortune attracted to Attica several members of 
his clan from their home in Burgundy; they doubtless received their 
share of the good things, which had fallen to Othon; one nephew divided 
with his uncle the lordship of Thebes, another more distant kinsman 
became commander of the castle of Athens. Other Burgundians will 
doubtless have followed in their wake, for in the thirteenth century 
Greece, or "New France," as Pope Honorius III called it, was to the 
younger sons of French noble houses what the British colonies were 
fifty years ago to impecunious but energetic Englishmen. The elder 
Sanudo, who derived his information from his relatives, the Dukes 
of Naxos, specially tells us that this was the case at the Achaian Court. 
He says of Geoff roy II of Achaia, that "he possessed a broad domain 
and great riches; he was wont to send his most confidential advisers 
from time to time to the Courts of his vassals, to see how they lived, 
and how they treated their subjects. At his own Court he constantly 
maintained 80 knights with golden spurs, to whom he gave their pay 
and all that they required ; so knights came from France, from Burgundy, 
and above all from Champagne. Some came to amuse themselves, others 
to pay their debts ; others because of crimes which they had committed 
at home." 

There was another marked distinction between Attica and the 
Morea. Niketas mentions no great local magnates as settled at Athens 
or Thebes in the last days of the Byzantine domination, nor do we hear 
of such during the whole century of Burgundian rule. Thus, whereas 
Crete, Negroponte, and the Morea still retained old native families, 
which in Crete headed insurrections, in Negroponte showed a tendency 
to emigrate, and in the Morea held fiefs and even occasionally, as in 
the case of the Sgouromallaioi, intermarried with the Franks, who 
usually, as Muntaner tells us, took their wives from France and despised 
marriages with Greeks even of high degree, Athens contained no such 



76 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

native aristocracy. It is only towards the close of the fourteenth 
century that we hear of any Greeks prominent there, and then they 
are not nobles, but notaries. Only in the last two generations of Latin 
rule, is there a national party at Athens, in which the famous family 
of Chalkokondyles, which produced the last Athenian historian, was 
prominent. The Greeks of Attica were, therefore, mostly peasants, 
whose lot was much the same as it was all over the feudal world, namely 
that of serfdom. We have examples, too, of actual slavery at Athens, 
even in the last decades of the Latin domination. 

Othon's dominions were large, if measured by the small standard of 
classical Greece. Burgundian Athens embraced Attica, Bceotia, the 
Megarid, the ancient Opuntian Lokris, and the fortresses of Nauplia 
and Argos, which the "Great Lord" had received as a fief from the 
principality of Achaia in return for his services at the time of their 
capture. Thus situated, the Athenian state had a considerable coast- 
line and at least four ports — the Piraeus, Nauplia, the harbour of 
Atalante opposite Eubcea, and Livadostro, or Rive d'Ostre, as the 
Franks called it, on the Gulf of Corinth — the usual port of embarkation 
for the West. Yet the Burgundian rulers of Athens made little attempt 
to create a navy, confining themselves to a little amateur piracy. 
Venice was most jealous of any other Latin state, which showed any 
desire to rival her as a maritime power in the Levant, and in a treaty 
concluded in 13 19 between the Republic and the Catalans, who then 
held the Duchy of Athens, it was expressly provided that they should 
launch no new ships in "the sea of Athens" and should dismantle 
those already afloat and place their tackle in the Akropolis. 

We are not told where the first Frankish ruler of Athens resided, but 
there can be no doubt that, like his immediate successors, he fixed his 
capital at Thebes — for it was not till the time of the Florentine Dukes 
in the fifteenth century that the Propylaea at Athens became the 
ducal palace. The old Boeotian city continued, under the Burgundian 
dynasty, to be the most important place in the Athenian Duchy. The 
silk manufacture still continued there; for it is specially mentioned in 
the commercial treaty which Guy I of Athens concluded with the 
Genoese in 1240, and we hear of a gift of 20 silken garments from Guy II 
to Pope Boniface VIII. The town contained both a Genoese and a 
Jewish colony, and it was a nest of Hebrew poets, whose verses, if we 
may believe a rival bard, were one mass of barbarisms. But the great 
feature of Thebes was the castle, built by Nicholas II de St Omer out 
of the vast fortune of his wife, Princess Marie of Antioch. This huge 
building is described as "the finest baronial mansion in all the realm 



FRANKISH SOCIETY IN GREECE 77 

of Romania"; it contained sufficient rooms for an Emperor and his 
court, and the walls were covered with frescoes illustrating the conquest 
of the Holy Land, in which the ancestors of the Great Theban baron 
had played a prominent part. Unhappily, the great castle of Thebes 
was destroyed by the Catalans in the fourteenth century, and one 
stumpy tower alone remains to preserve, like the Santameri mountains 
in the Morea, the name and fame of the great Frankish family of St 
Omer. 

I have spoken of the political organisation of the two chief Frankish 
states of Greece; I would next say something of their ecclesiastical 
arrangements. The policy of the Franks towards the Greek Church 
was more than anything else the determining factor of their success 
or failure in Greece, for in all ages the Greeks have regarded their 
Church as inseparably identified with their nationality, and even to-day 
the terms "Christian" and "Greek" are often used as identical terms. 
Now, as that fair-minded modern Greek historian, Paparregopoulos, 
has pointed out, the Franks- were confronted at the outset with an 
ecclesiastical dilemma, from which there was no escape. Either they 
must persecute the Orthodox Church, in which case they would make 
bitter enemies of the persecuted clergy and of the Nicene and Byzantine 
Emperors; or they must tolerate it, in which case their Greek subjects 
would find natural leaders in the Orthodox bishops, who would sooner 
or later conspire against their foreign rulers. This was exactly what 
happened as soon as the Franks abandoned the policy of persecution 
for that of toleration. At first, they simply annexed the existing Greek 
ecclesiastical organisation, which had subsisted, with one or two small 
changes, ever since the days of the Emperor Leo the Philosopher, 
ousted the Orthodox hierarchy from their sees, and installed in their 
places Catholic ecclesiastics from the West. 

Thus, at Athens, a Frenchman, named BeYard, became the first 
Catholic Archbishop of Athens, and thus began that long series which 
existed without a break till the time of the Turkish conquest and was 
subsequently renewed in 1875. Later on, however, when the Florentine 
Dukes of Athens, at the end of the fourteenth century, permitted the 
Greek Metropolitan to reside in his see, he at once entered into negotia- 
tions with the Turks, and the same phenomenon meets us at Salona 
and other places. As Voltaire has said, the Greek clergy "preferred 
the turban of a Turkish priest to the red hat of a Roman Cardinal," 
and this strange preference contributed in great measure to the downfall 
of Latin rule in the Levant. For, throughout the long period of the 
Frankish domination, the Catholic Church made hardly any headway 



78 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

among the Greeks. The elder Sanudo, who knew the Levant better than 
most of his contemporaries, wrote to Pope John XXII, that the Western 
Powers might destroy the Byzantine Empire but could not retain their 
conquests, for the examples of Cyprus, Crete, the principality of Achaia, 
and the Duchy of Athens showed that only the foreign conquerors and 
not the natives belonged to the Roman faith. Even to-day, the 
Catholics of Greece come mostly from those Italian families, whose 
ancestors emigrated to the Levant in the Frankish period, and are 
mostly to be found just where we should expect to find them — in the 
Ionian Islands and the Cyclades, that is to say, in the two places where 
Latin rule lasted longest. Moreover, the Catholic Church did not receive 
the consideration which it might have reasonably expected from the 
Frankish rulers themselves. The correspondence of Innocent III, who 
sat on the Chair of St Peter at the time of the conquest, is fall of 
complaints against the hostile attitude of the Franks towards the 
Roman clergy. The Archbishop of Patras was not safe even in his own 
palace, for the sacrilegious baron Aleman, who, as we saw, had received 
that town as a fief, considered the Archiepiscopal plan of fortifying 
the place against pirates as amateurish, carried the Primate off to 
prison, cut off his representative's nose, and converted the palace and 
the adjacent church of St Theodore into the present castle. Geoff roy I 
de Villehardouin neither paid tithes himself, nor compelled his subjects 
to pay them ; he forced the clergy to plead before the secular tribunals, 
and exempted the Greek priests and monks from the jurisdiction of 
the Catholic Archbishop. His son and successor, Geoff roy II, went even 
farther in this secular policy. When the Latin clergy refused to perform 
military service, on the ground that they owed obedience to the Pope 
alone, he confiscated their fiefs and devoted the funds which he thus 
obtained to building the great castle of Chlomoutsi, or Clermont, near 
Glarentza in the West of Elis, the ruins of which still remain a striking 
monument of the relations between Church and State in Frankish 
Greece. This castle took three years to construct; and, as soon as it 
was finished, Geoff roy laid the whole matter before Pope Honorius III. 
He pointed out that if the Latin priests would not help him to fight 
the Greeks, they would only have themselves to blame if the principality, 
and with it their Church, fell under the sway of those Schismatics. The 
Pope saw the force of this argument ; the Prince ceased to appropriate 
the revenues of the clergy; and peace reigned between the civil and 
ecclesiastical authorities. It is interesting to note, that, under the 
next Prince, the castle of Chlomoutsi became the mint of the principality, 
whence coins known as tournois, or tornesi, because they bore on them 



FRANKISH SOCIETY IN GREECE 79 

a representation of the Church of St Martin of Tours, were issued for 
more than a century. Many thousands of these coins have been found 
in Greece, specimens may be seen in the Doge's Palace and in the Museo 
Correr at Venice, and from this Achaian currency the castle received 
its Italian name of Castel Tornese. The town and harbour of Glarentza 
near it rose to be the chief port of the principality. Boccaccio mentions 
Genoese merchantmen there in one of the novels of the Decameron, 
in which a "Prince of the Morea" is one of the characters; the famous 
Florentine banking house of the Peruzzi had a branch there, and 
Pegalotti describes to us the weights, measures, and customs duties 
of this flourishing commercial place. 

When we come to consider the social life of Frankish Greece, we are 
struck by the prominent part which women played in it, and in political 
life as well. The Salic law did not obtain in the Latin states of the 
Levant, except at Naxos under the Crispi, and, without expressing any 
opinion upon the thorny question of female suffrage, I do not think 
that it can be denied that the participation of the weaker sex in the 
government of a purely military community had disastrous effects. 
It happened on two occasions that almost the entire baronage of 
Frankish Greece was annihilated on the field of battle, and after the 
former of these disasters — the battle of Pelagonia in 1259, m which 
Prince William of Achaia was taken prisoner by the troops of the Greek 
Emperor of Nice — the fate of the principality was decided by the 
votes of its ladies. The Emperor Michael VIII was resolved to make the 
best use of the advantage which the rashness of the Prince had placed 
within his power, and demanded, as the price of his captive's freedom, 
the cession of the three great fortresses of Monemvasia, Mistra, and 
Maina, the first of which had only recently been surrendered by the 
Greeks to the Franks, while the other two had been erected by Prince 
William himself. The question was submitted by Duke Guy I of Athens, 
who was then acting as Regent of Achaia, to a Parliament, convened 
at Nikli in 1262. At this "Ladies' Parliament" there were only two 
other men present — for all the men of mark were either in prison or had 
been slain at Pelagonia — and their wives or widows had to take their 
place at the Council. Naturally, an assembly so composed was guided 
by sentiment rather than by reasons of high policy. In vain the states- 
manlike Duke of Athens argued in scriptural language, that "it were 
better that one man should die for the people than that the other 
Franks of the Morea should lose the fruits of their fathers' labours " ; 
in vain, to show his disinterestedness, he offered to take the Prince's 
place in prison or to pledge his own Duchy to provide a ransom. The 



80 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

conjugal feelings of the ladies prevailed, the three castles were sur- 
rendered, and from that day dates the gradual recovery of the Morea 
by the Greeks. Two noble dames were sent, in strict accordance with 
feudal law, as hostages for their lord to Constantinople, and it is 
interesting to note the ingratitude with which one of them was treated 
by him in the sequel. While she was still in prison on his account, the 
great barony of Matagrifon, to which she was entitled as next of kin, 
fell vacant. But the Prince, who wished to bestow it upon one of his 
daughters, declined to invest her with it, on the technical ground that 
she had permitted the period of time allowed by the feudal code to 
elapse without appearing to claim the fief. Unable to obtain justice, 
she resorted to matrimony with one of the powerful barons of St Omer 
as the only means of compelling the Prince to give her what was hers. 
In this she was partially successful; but the incident throws a lurid 
light on the chivalry of the brave warrior, whom the author of the 
Chronicle of the Morea has made his hero. 

It would be interesting to present a few portraits of the leading 
women of Frankish Greece. There were the two daughters of Prince 
William, of whom the elder, Princess Isabelle, succeeded him and whose 
hand was eagerly sought in marriage by three husbands; her younger 
sister, Marguerite, died in the grim castle of Chlomoutsi, the prisoner 
of the turbulent Moreote barons, who never forgave her for having 
married her daughter without their approval. There was Isabelle's 
daughter, Matilda, who had already been twice a widow when she was 
only 23, and who was left all alone to govern the principality, where 
every proud feudal lord claimed to do what was right in his own eyes. 
Compeljed by King Robert "the Wise" of Naples to go through the 
form of marriage with his brother, John of Gravina, a man whom she 
loathed, she was imprisoned for her contumacity in the Castel dell' Uovo 
of Naples. There were the three Duchesses of Athens — Helene Angela, 
widow of Duke William, Regent for her son, and the first Greek who 
had governed Athens for 80 years; Maria Melissene, widow of Duke 
Antonio I, who tried to betray the Duchy to her countrymen the Greeks ; 
and most tragic of all, Chiara Giorgio, a veritable villain of melodrama, 
widow of Nerio II, who fell in love with a young Venetian noble, 
induced him by the offer of her hand and land to poison the wife whom 
he had left behind in his palace at Venice, and expiated her crime before 
the altar of the Virgin at Megara at the hands of the last Frankish 
Duke of Athens, thus causing the Turkish conquest. Of like mould 
was the Dowager Countess of Salona, whose evil government drove 
her subjects to call in the Turks, and whose beautiful daughter, the 



FRANKISH SOCIETY IN GREECE 81 

last Countess of that historic castle, ended her days in the Sultan's 
harem. Another of these masculine dames was Francesca Acciajuoli, 
wife of Carlo Tocco, the Palatine Count of Cephalonia, the ablest and 
most masterful woman of the Latin Orient, who used to sign her letters 
in cinnabar ink "Empress of the Romans." In her castles at Sta 
Maura and at Cephalonia she presided over a bevy of fair ladies, and 
Froissart has quaintly described the splendid hospitality with which 
she received the French nobles, whom the Turks had taken prisoners 
at the battle of Nikopolis on the Danube. "The ladies," writes the old 
French chronicler, "were exceeding glad to have such noble society, 
for Venetian and Genoese merchants were, as a rule, the only strangers 
who came to their delightful island." He tells us, that Cephalonia was 
ruled by women, who scorned not, however, to make silken coverings so 
fine, that there was none like them. Fairies and nymphs inhabited this 
ancient realm of Odysseus, where a mediaeval Penelope held sway in 
the absence of her lord ! Yet another fair dame of the Frankish world, 
the Duchess Fiorenza Sanudo of Naxos, occupied for years the astute 
diplomatists of Venice, who were resolved that so eligible a young 
widow should marry none but a Venetian, and who at last, when suitors 
of other nationalities became pressing, had the Duchess kidnapped 
and conveyed to Crete, where she was plainly told that, if she ever 
wished to see her beloved Naxos again, she must marry the candidate 
of the Most Serene Republic. And finally, we have the portrait of a 
more feminine woman than most of these ladies, Manilla of Verona, 
a noble damsel of Negroponte, whom old Ramon Muntaner describes 
from personal acquaintance as "one of the fairest Christians in the 
world, the best woman and the wisest that ever was in that land." 

Social life must have been far more brilliant in the hey-day of the 
Frankish rule than anything that Greece had witnessed for centuries. 
The Chronicle of the Morea tells us, that the Achaian nobles in their 
castles "lived the fairest life that a man can," and has preserved the 
account of the great tournament on the Isthmus of Corinth — a mediaeval 
revival of the Isthmian games — which Philip of Savoy, at that time 
Prince of Achaia, organised in 1305. From all parts of the Frankish 
world men came in answer to the summons of the Prince. There were 
Duke Guy II of Athens with a brave body of knights, the Marquess 
of Boudonitza and the three barons of Eubcea, the Duke of the 
Archipelago and the Palatine Count of Cephalonia, the Marshal of 
Achaia, Nicholas de St Omer, with a following of Theban vassals, and 
many another lesser noble. Messengers had been sent throughout the 
highlands and islands of the Latin Orient to proclaim to all and sundry, 



8a FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

how seven champions had come from beyond the seas and did challenge 
the chivalry of Romania to joust with them. Never had the fair land 
of Hellas seen a braver sight than that presented by the lists at Corinth 
in the lovely month of May, when the sky and the twin seas were at 
their fairest. More than iooo knights and barons took part in the 
tournament, which lasted for twenty days, while all the fair ladies of 
Achaia and Athens "rained influence" on the combatants. There were 
the seven champions, clad in their armour of green taffetas covered with 
scales of gold; there was the Prince of Achaia, who acquitted himself 
right nobly in the lists, as a son of Savoy should, with all his household. 
Most impetuous of all was the Duke of Athens, eager to match his 
skill in horsemanship and with the lance against Master William 
Bouchart, accounted one of the best j ousters of the West. The chivalrous 
Bouchart would fain have spared his less experienced antagonist; but 
the Duke, who had cunningly padded himself beneath his plate armour, 
was determined to meet him front to front; their horses collided with 
such force that the iron spike of Bouchart's charger pierced Guy's 
steed between the shoulders, so that horse and rider rolled in the dust. 
St Omer would fain have met the Count John of Cephalonia in the 
lists; but the Palatine, fearing the Marshal's doughty arm, pretended 
that his horse could not bear him into the ring, nor could he be shamed 
into the combat, when Bouchart rode round and round the lists on 
the animal, crying aloud, "This is the horse which would not go to 
the jousts ! " So they kept high revel on the Isthmus; alas ! it was the 
last great display of the chivalry of "New France"; six years later, 
many a knight who had ridden proudly past the dames of the Morea, 
lay a mangled corpse on the swampy plain of Boeotia, the victim of 
the knife of Aragon. Besides tournaments, hunting was one of the 
great attractions of lif e in mediaeval Greece ; we hear, too, of an archery 
match in Crete, at which the archers represented different nations* 
we are told of great balls held in Negroponte, which the gay Lombard 
society of that island attended; and mention is made of the jongleurs 
who were attached to the brilliant Court of Thebes. Muntaner, who 
knew Duke Guy II and had visited his capital, has given us a charming 
account of the ceremony in the Theban Minster, when the last De la 
Roche came of age and received the order of knighthood — "a duty 
which the King of France or the Emperor himself would have thought 
it an honour to perform, for the Duke was one of the noblest men in 
all Romania who was not a King, and eke one of the richest." The 
episode gives us some idea of the wealth and splendour and open-handed 
generosity of the Burgundian Dukes of Athens. 



FRANKISH SOCIETY IN GREECE 83 

In conclusion, I should like to say something about Frankish influence 
on the language and literature of Greece. We are specially told that 
the Franks of Achaia spoke most excellent French ; but, at the same time, 
there is direct evidence, that in the second generation, at any rate, 
they also spoke Greek. The Chronicle of the Morea describes how Prince 
William of Achaia after the battle of Pelagonia addressed his captor 
in that language, and Duke John of Athens, according to Sanudo, 
once used a Greek phrase, which is a quotation from Herodotus. Later 
on, the Florentine Dukes of Athens drew up many of their documents 
in Greek, just as Mohammed II employed that language in his diplomatic 
communications. The Venetian Governors of Euboea, however, who 
held office for only two years, had to employ an interpreter, who is 
specially mentioned in one of the Venetian documents. While a number 
of French feudal and Italian terms crept into the Greek language, as 
may be seen in the Cyclades at the present day, and especially in the 
Venetian island of Tenos, the Franks covered the map of Greece with 
a strange and weird nomenclature. Thus, Lacedaemonia became "La 
Cremonie," the first syllable being mistaken for the definite article; 
Athens was known as "Satines," or "Sethines," Thebes as "Estives," 
Naupaktos as " Lepanto," Zeitounion, the modern Lamia, as "Gipton," 
Kalavryta as " La Grite," Salona as "La Sole," Lemnos as " Stalimene," 
and the island of Samothrace as " Sanctus Mandrachi." Most wonderful 
transformation of all, Cape Sunium becomes in one Venetian document 
" Pellestello " (nroXkol crvkoi), from the " Many columns " of the temple, 
which gave it its usual Italian name of "Cape Colonna." 

The Franks have too often been accused of being barbarians, whereas 
there is evidence that they were not indifferent to literature. Among the 
conquerors were not a few poets. Conon de Bethune was a writer of 
poems as well as an orator ; Geoffroy I of Achaia composed some verses 
which have been preserved; Rambaud de Vaqueiras, the troubadour 
of Boniface of Montferrat, was rewarded for his songs by lands in 
Greece. Count John II Orsini of Epeiros ordered Constantine Hermoniakos 
to make a paraphrase of Homer in octosyllabic verse. We may say 
of this production, as Bentley said of Pope's translation of the Iliad, 
"it is a pretty poem, but you must not call it Homer"; still it is in- 
teresting to find a Latin ruler patronising Greek literature. The courtly 
poet was so delighted that he tells us that his master was "a hero and 
a scholar," and that the Lady Anna of Epeiros "excelled all women 
that ever lived in beauty, wisdom, and learning." Historical accuracy 
compels me to add that the "heroic and scholarly" Count had gained 
his throne by the murder of his brother, while the "beautiful, wise 

6 — 2 



84 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

and learned" Anna assassinated her husband! Throughout a great 
part of the Frankish period, too, people were engaged in transcribing 
Greek manuscripts. Several Athenians copied medical treatises, William 
of Meerbeke, the Latin Archbishop of Corinth in 1280, whose name 
survives in the Argive Church of Merbaka 1 , translated Hippocrates, 
Galen, Aristotle, and Proklos, and one of the Tocchi — the Italian 
family which followed the Orsini as Counts of Cephalonia — employed 
a monk to copy for him manuscripts of Origen and Chrysostom. Yet, 
in 1309, a Theban canon had to go to the West to continue his studies ; 
and, a century later, the Archbishop of Patras obtained leave to study 
at the University of Bologna. 

But the chief literary monument of Frankish Greece is the Chronicle 
of the Morea — the very curious work which exists in four versions, 
Greek, French, Italian, and Spanish. The Italian version need not 
detain us, for it contains no new facts and is merely an abbreviated 
translation of the Greek, chiefly remarkable for the extraordinary, but 
characteristic, mutilation of the proper names. The Spanish version, 
made in 1393 by order of Heredia, the romantic Grand-Master of the 
Knights of St John, and the French version, found in the castle of 
St Omer — another proof of Frankish culture — are of great historic 
interest. But by far the most remarkable of all the four versions is 
the Greek — a poem of some 9000 lines in the usual jog-trot "political" 
metre of most mediaeval and modern Greek poetry, composed, in my 
opinion, by a half-caste lawyer, who obviously had the most enthusiastic 
admiration for the Franks, to whom he doubtless owed his place and 
salary. With the exception of a few French feudal terms, this most 
remarkable poem may be read without the slightest difficulty by any 
modern Greek scholar, — a striking proof that the vulgar Greek spoken 
to-day is almost exactly the same as that in common use in the first 
half of the fourteenth century, when the Chronicle was composed. 
As regards its literary merits, opinions differ. As a rule, it is merely 
prose in the form of verse; but here and there, the author rises to a 
much higher level, and his work is a store-house of social, and especially 
legal information, even where his chronology and history have been 
shown by documentary evidence to be inaccurate. 

The bright and chivalrous Frankish society has long passed away; 
but a few Italian and Catalan families still linger in the Cyclades, there 
are still Venetian names and titles in the Ionian Islands; the Tocchi 
were till lately represented at Naples and the Zorzi still are at Venice; 
the towers of Thebes and Paros, the Norman arch of Andravida, the 
1 Athenische Mitteilungen, xxxiv. 234-36. 






FRANK ISH SOCIETY IN GREECE 85 

noble castles of Karytaina and Chlomoutsi, and the carvings and 
frescoes of Geraki still remind us of the romance of feudal Greece, 
when every coign of vantage had its lord, and from every donjon 
floated the banner of a baron. 



3. THE PRINCES OF THE PELOPONNESE 

It is satisfactory to note that, after a long period- of neglect, the 
great romance of mediaeval Greek history is finding interpreters. 
Since George Finlay revealed to the British public the fact that the 
annals of Greece were by no means a blank in the Middle Ages, and 
that Athens was a flourishing city in the thirteenth century, much fresh 
material has been collected, by both Greek and German scholars, from 
the Venetian and other archives, which throws fresh light upon the 
dark places of the Latin rule in the Levant. Finlay 's work can never 
lose its value. Its author had not the microscopic zeal for genealogies 
and minutiae which distinguished Hopf; but he possessed gifts and 
advantages of a far higher order. He knew Greece and the Greeks 
as no other foreign scholar has known them ; he had a deep insight into 
the causes of political and social events; he drew his picture, as the 
Germans say, in grossen Ziigen, and he left a work which no student 
of mediaeval Greece can afford to ignore, and every statesman engaged 
in Eastern affairs would do well to read. All that is now wanted is 
for some one to do in England what Gregorovius did in so agreeable 
a manner for the Germans — to make the dry bones of the Frank 
chivalry live again, and to set before us in flesh and blood the Dukes 
of Athens and the Princes of Achaia, the Marquesses of Boudonitza, 
the Lords of Salona, the Dukes of the Archipelago, and the three 
barons of Euboea. Despite the vandalism of mere archaeologists, who 
can see nothing of interest in an age when Greeks were shaky in their 
declensions, and of bigoted purists among the Greeks themselves, who 
strive to erase every evidence of foreign rule alike from their language 
and their land, the feudal castles of the Morea, of continental Greece, 
and of the islands, still remind us of the days when classic Hellas, as 
Pope Honorius III said, was "New France," when armoured knights 
and fair Burgundian damsels attended Mass in St Mary's Minster on 
the Akropolis, and jousts were held on the Isthmus of Corinth. 

Of the Frankish period of Greek history the Chronicle of the Morea 
is the most curious literary production, valuable alike as an historical 
source — save for occasional errors of dates and persons, especially in 



86 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

the earlier part— and as a subject for linguistic study. The present 
edition, the fruit of many years' labour, is almost wholly devoted to 
the latter aspect of the Chronicle, about which there is much that is 
of interest. Versions exist in French, in Italian, and in Aragonese, as 
well as in Greek; and the question as to whether the Greek or the French 
was the original has been much discussed. The present editor, differing 
from Buchon and Hopf, believes that the French Livre de la Conqueste 
could not have been the original. In any case, the Greek Chronicle 
is of more literary interest than the French, because it throws a strong 
light on modern Greek. Any person familiar with the modern colloquial 
language could read with ease, except for a few French feudal terms, 
this fourteenth century popular poem, many of whose phrases might 
come from the racy conversation of any Greek peasant of to-day, and 
is very different from the classical imitation of the contemporary 
Byzantine historians. Its poetic merits are small, nor does the jog-trot 
" political " metre in which it is composed tend to lofty flights of poetry. 
We know not who was its author; but, on the whole, there seems to 
be reason for believing that he was a Gasmoulos — one of the offspring 
of mixed marriages between Greeks and Franks — probably employed, 
as his love of legal nomenclature shows, in some clerkly post. Unpoetical 
himself, he has at least been the cause of noble poetry in others; for, 
as Dr Schmitt shows, the second part of Goethe's Faust has been 
largely inspired by its perusal; and the hero of that drama finds his 
prototype in the chivalrous builder of Mistra. 

No chapter of this mediaeval romance is more striking than the 
conquest of the Morea by the Franks and the history of their rule in 
the classic peninsula. At the time of the fourth crusade the Peloponnese 
was a prey to that spirit of particularism which has been, unhappily, 
too often characteristic of the Greeks in ancient, in mediaeval, and in 
modern times. Instead of uniting among themselves in view of the 
Latin peril, the great archontes of the Morea availed themselves of the 
general confusion to occupy strong positions and to extend their own 
authority at the expense of their neighbours. The last historian and 
statesman of Constantinople before the Latin conquest, Niketas of 
Chonae, has left us a sad picture of the demoralisation of society in 
Greece at that critical moment. The leading men, he says, instead of 
fighting, cringed to the conquerors; some were inflamed by ambition 
against their own country, slavish creatures, spoiled by luxury, who 
made themselves tyrants, instead of opposing the Latins 1 . Of these 
1 Niketas Choniates (ed. Bonn), pp. 840-42. 



THE PRINCES OF THE PELOPONNESE 87 

archontes the most prominent was Leon Sgouros, hereditary lord of 
Nauplia, who had seized the Larissa of Argos and the impregnable 
citadel high above Corinth, and who, though he failed to imitate the 
heroism of Leonidas in the Pass of Thermopylae, held out at Akro- 
corinth till his death. 

Such was the state of the country when a winter storm drove into 
the haven of Modon, on the Messenian coast, Geoffroy de Villehardouin, 
a crusader from Champagne, and nephew of the chronicler of the 
conquest of Constantinople. A Greek archon of the neighbourhood, 
thinking that the opportunity was too good to be lost, invited the 
storm-bound warrior to aid him in the conquest of the surrounding 
country. Geoffroy was nothing loth; and the two unnatural allies 
speedily subdued one place after another. But, as ill-luck would have 
it, the Greek died; and his son, more patriotic or less trustworthy than 
the father, broke the compact with the Frankish intruder, and turned 
Geoffroy out of his quickly-won possessions. The crusader's position 
was serious; he was in a hostile country and surrounded by an alien 
and suspicious population; but he was a man of resource, and, hearing 
that Boniface, Marquess of Montferrat and King of Salonika, had made 
a triumphal march through continental Greece and was at that moment 
besieging the great stronghold of Nauplia, he set out across the 
Peloponnese — a six days' journey — and succeeded in reaching the 
Frankish camp. There he found an old friend and neighbour, Guillaume 
de Champlitte, to whom he confided the scheme which he had been 
revolving in his mind. "I come," he said, so we learn from his uncle's 
chronicle, " from a land which is very rich, and men call it the Morea " — 
a name which here occurs for the first time in the history of Greece, 
and the origin of which is still a puzzle to all her historians. He urged 
Champlitte to join him in the task of conquering this El Dorado, 
promising to recognise him as his liege lord in return for his assistance. 
Champlitte agreed, and the two friends, at the head of a small body 
of a hundred knights and some esquires, started on their bold venture 1 . 

The ease with which the little band of Western warriors conquered 
the peninsula, which had once produced the Spartan warriors, strikes 
every reader of the Chronicle of the Morea — the prosaic, but extremely 
curious and valuable poem in which the Frank conquest is described. 
The cause lay partly in the disunited state of Greek society and the 
feuds of the local archontes, but still more in the neglect of military 
training, due to the fact that the Byzantine emperors had long drawn 

1 Geoffroy de Villehardouin, La ConquSte de Constantinople (ed. Bouchet), 
I. 226-32. 



88 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

their best troops from the non-Hellenic portions of their heterogeneous 
dominions. It is remarkable that, apart from Sgouros, interned, as it 
were, on Akrocorinth, and a Greek archon, Doxapatres, who held a 
small but strongly situated castle in one of the gorges of Arcadia, the 
invaders met with little opposition. Greece, as we know from the 
complaints of Michael Akominatos, the last orthodox Archbishop of 
Athens before the conquest, had been plundered by Byzantine tax- 
gatherers and despised as a "Scythian wilderness" by Byzantine 
officials. So, when the inhabitants found that the Franks had no 
intention of interfering with their prized municipal privileges, they had 
no great objection to exchanging a master who spent their money at 
Constantinople for one who spent it in Elis at the new Peloponnesian 
capital of Andreville or Andravida. One pitched battle decided the 
fate of "the isle of Greece," as the Franks sometimes called it. At the 
olive grove of Koundoura, in the north-east of Messenia, the small 
force of Franks easily routed a Greek army six times larger; and as 
the chronicler, always in sympathy with the invaders, puts it, 

Avtov kcu fiovov tov ir6X.ep.ov iiroinav ol Voopcuoi 
Ety tov Kaipbv irov eKepburav ol &paynoi tov Mopeav. 

Yet a modern Greek historian of singular fairness, the late K. Paparrego- 
poulos, has remarked how great was the change in the Turkish times. 
The descendants of the unwarlike Moreotes, who fell so easy a prey to 
the Frankish chivalry in 1205, never lost an opportunity of rising against 
the Turks after the Frankish domination was over. As he justly says, 
one of the main results of the long Latin rule was to teach Greek 
"hands to war and their fingers to fight." 

Thus, almost by a single blow, the Franks had become masters of 
the ancient "island of Pelops." Here and there a few natural strong- 
holds still held out. Even after the death of Sgouros his triple crown 
of forts, Corinth, Nauplia, and Argos, was still defended for the Greek 
cause in the name of the lord, or Despot, of Epeiros, where a bold 
scion of the imperial house of Angelos had founded an independent 
state on the ruins of the Byzantine Empire. The great rock of Monem- 
vasia in the south-east of the Morea, whence our ancestors derived 
their Malmsey wine, remained in the hands of its three local archontes ; 
while, in the mountains of southern Lakonia, a race which had often 
defied Byzantium scorned to acknowledge the noblemen of Champagne. 
The local magnate, Joannes Chamaretos, could boast for a time that 
he kept his own lands in Lakonia, but he, too, had to take refuge at 
the Epeirote Court at Arta 1 . Finally, the two Messenian ports of Modon 
1 Pitra, Analecta sacra et classica, vn. 90, 93. 



THE PRINCES OF THE PELOPONNESE 89 

and Koron were claimed by Venice, which, with her usual astuteness, 
had secured those valuable stations on the way to Egypt in the deed of 
partition by which the conquerors of the empire had divided the spoils 
among themselves at Constantinople. Not without reason did Pope 
Innocent III, whose letters are full of allusions to the Frankish organi- 
sation of Greece, style Guillaume de Champlitte " Prince of all Achaia." 

Champlitte now attempted to provide for the internal government 
of his principality by the application of the feudal system, which, 
even before the Frankish conquest, had crept into many parts of the 
Levant. The Chronicle of the Morea, whose author revels in legal details, 
gives an account of the manner in which "the isle of Greece" was 
organised by its new masters. A commission, consisting of two Latin 
bishops, two bannerets, and five Greek archontes, under the presidency 
of Geoffroy de Villehardouin, drew up a species of Domesday-book for 
the new state. In accordance with the time-honoured feudal custom, 
twelve baronies were created and bestowed upon prominent members 
of the Frankish force, who were bound to be at the prince's beck and 
call with their retainers in time of need ; and the castles of these warrior 
barons were purposely erected in strong positions, whence they could 
command important passes or overcome troublesome neighbours. Even 
to-day the traveller may see the fine fortress above the town of Patras 
which Guillaume Aleman, one of the feudatories, constructed out of 
the Archbishop's palace; the castle of Karytaina, the Toledo of Greece, 
still reminds us of the time when Hugues de Bruyeres held the dalesmen 
of Skorta, ancestors of M. Delyannes, in check; and, far to the South, 
the war-cry of Jean de Neuilly, hereditary Marshal of Achaia, Passe 
avant, lingers in the name of Passava, the stronghold which once 
inspired respect in the men of Maina, who boast that they spring 
from Spartan mothers. Seven ecclesiastical peers, the Latin Archbishop 
of Patras at their head, and the three military orders of St John, the 
Templars, and the Teutonic Knights also received fiefs; and, while 
Geoffroy de Villehardouin was invested with Kalamata and Kyparissia, 
fertile Elis became the princely domain. 

But Guillaume de Champlitte did not long enjoy his Achaian 
dignity. If he was a prince in Greece he was still a French subject; 
and the death of his brother made it necessary for him to do homage 
in person for his fief in France. On the way he died; and the cunning 
Villehardouin, by an ingenious stratagem, contrived to become master 
of the country. It had been declared that a claimant must take pos- 
session of Achaia within a year and a day after the date of the last 
vacancy ; and Geoffroy contrived to have Champlitte's heir detained in 



90 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

Venice and left behind at Corfu till the fatal date had almost passed. 
A little skilful manoeuvring from one place to another in the Morea 
filled up the rest of the time, so that, when young Robert de Champlitte 
at last met Geoffroy in full court at Lacedaemonia, the mediaeval town 
which had risen near the Eurotas, the year and a day had already 
elapsed. The court decided in favour of Geoffroy, anxious, no doubt, 
that their ruler should be a statesman of experience and not a young 
man fresh from France. Robert gave no further trouble, and Geoffroy 
remained for the rest of his days "Lord of Achaia." By his tact and 
cleverness he had contrived to win the regard both of the Frank barons 
and of the Greek population, whose religion and ancient customs he 
had sworn to respect. He was thus enabled to subdue the three out- 
standing fortresses which had once been the domain of Sgouros, while 
he settled all claims that the Venetians might have upon the Morea 
by allowing them to keep Modon and Koron, granting them a separate 
quarter in every town in his principality, and doing homage to them 
for the whole peninsula on the island of Sapienza. He crowned his 
career by marrying his son to the daughter of the Latin Emperor 
Peter of Courtenay, from whose family the Earls of Devon are descended. 

Under his son and successor, Geoffroy II, the Frank principality 
prospered exceedingly. The Venetian historian, Marino Sanudo, who 
derived much of his information from his relative, Marco II Sanudo, 
Duke of Naxos, has given us a vivid picture of life at the Peloponnesian 
court under the rule of the second of the Villehardouins. A just prince, 
Geoffroy II used to send his friends from time to time to the baronial 
castles of the Morea to see how the barons treated their vassals. At 
his own court he kept " eighty knights with golden spurs " ; and " knights 
came to the Morea from France, from Burgundy, and above all from 
Champagne, to follow him. Some came to amuse themselves, others to 
pay their debts, others again because of crimes which they had com- 
mitted 1 ." In fact, towards the middle of the thirteenth century, the 
Morea had become for the younger sons of the French chivalry much 
what the British colonies were to adventurers and ne'er-do-weels fifty 
years ago. It was a place where the French knights would find their 
own language spoken — we are specially told what good French was 
spoken in Greece in the Frankish period — and could scarcely fail to 
obtain congenial employment from a prince of their own race. 

One difficulty, however, had soon arisen in the Frank principality. 
The Latin clergy, who had had their full share of the spoils, declined 
to take any part in the defence of the country. Geoffroy, with all 
1 Marino Sanudo apud Hopf, Chroniques grdco-romanes, p. 101. 



THE PRINCES OF THE PELOPONNESE 91 

the energy of his race, opposed a stout resistance to these clerical 
pretensions, and confiscated the ecclesiastical fiefs, spending the pro- 
ceeds upon the erection of the great castle of Clermont or Chlomoutsi 
above the busy port of Glarentza, the imposing ruins of which are still 
a land-mark for miles around. When he had finished the castle Geoff roy 
appealed to the Pope, placing before the Holy Father the very practical 
argument that, if the principality, through lack of defenders, were 
recaptured by the Greeks, the loss would fall just as much on the 
Roman Church as on the prince, while the fault would be entirely with 
the former. The Pope was sufficiently shrewd to see that Geoffroy was 
right; the dispute was settled amicably; and both the prince and the 
Latin clergy subscribed generously for the preservation of the moribund 
Latin empire, which exercised a nominal suzerainty over the principality 
of Achaia. 

Geoffroy's brother and successor, the warlike Guillaume de Ville- 
hardouin, saw the Frank state in the Morea reach its zenith, and by 
his rashness contributed to its decline. Born in Greece, and speaking 
Greek, as the Chronicle of the Morea expressly tells us, the third of the 
Villehardouins began by completing the conquest of what was his 
native land. It was he who laid siege to the rock of Monemvasia for 
three long years, till at last, when the garrison had been reduced to 
eat mice and cats, the three archontes advanced along the narrow cause- 
way which gives the place its name 1 , and surrendered on terms which 
the prince wisely granted. It was he, too, who built the noble castle 
of Mistra on the site of the Homeric Messe, now abandoned to tortoises 
and sheep, but for two centuries a great name in the history of Greece. 
To a ruler so vigorous and so determined even the weird Tzakones, 
that strange tribe, perhaps Slavs but far more probably Dorians, which 
still lingers on and cherishes its curious language around Leonidi, 
yielded obedience; while the men of Maina, hemmed in by two new 
castles, ceased to trouble. 

For the first and last time in its history the whole Peloponnese owned 
the sway of a Frank prince, except where, at Modon and Koron, 
Venice kept "its right eye," as it called those places, fixed on the East. 
So powerful a sovereign as St Louis of France wished that he had some 
of Guillaume's knights to aid him in his Egyptian war; and from seven 
hundred to one thousand horsemen always attended the chivalrous 
Prince of Achaia. His court at La Cremonie, the French version of 
Lacedaemonia, was "more brilliant than that of many a king"; and 
this brilliance was not merely on the surface. "Merchants," says 
1 M6«7 tupaais, Monemvasia. 



92 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

Sanudo, "went up and down without money, and lodged in the house 
of the bailies; and on their simple note of hand people gave them 
money 1 ." But Guillaume's ambition and his love of fighting for fighting's 
sake involved the principality in disaster. Not content with beginning 
the first fratricidal war between the Frank rulers of the East by 
attacking Guy de la Roche, Lord of Athens, he espoused the cause 
of his father-in-law, the Greek Despot of Epeiros, then engaged in 
another brotherly struggle with the Greek Emperor of Nice. On the 
field of Pelagonia in Macedonia the Franks were routed ; and the Prince 
of Achaia, easily recognised by his prominent teeth, was dragged from 
under a heap of straw, where he was lying, and carried off a prisoner 
to the court of the Emperor Michael VIII. 

Guillaume's captivity was the cause of endless evils for the princi- 
pality; for Michael, who in 1261, by the recapture of Constantinople, 
had put an end to the short-lived Latin empire and restored there the 
throne of the Greeks, was resolved to regain a footing in the Morea 
and to make use of his distinguished captive for that purpose. He 
accordingly demanded, as the price of the prince's freedom, the three 
strong fortresses of Mistra, Monemvasia, and Maina. The matter was 
referred to a ladies' parliament held at Nikli, near the site of the 
ancient Tegea, for so severe had been the losses of the Frank chivalry 
that the noble dames of the Morea had to take the peaces of their 
husbands. We can well understand that, with a tribunal so composed, 
sentiment and the ties of affection would have more influence than the 
raison d'etat. Yet Guillaume's old opponent, Guy de la Roche, now 
Duke of Athens and bailie of Achaia during the prince's captivity, 
laid before the parliament the argument that it was better that one 
man should die for the people than that the rest of the Franks should 
lose the Morea 2 . At the same time, to show that he bore no malice, he 
chivalrously offered to go to prison in place of the prince. But the 
ladies of the Morea thought otherwise. It was decided to give up the 
three castles; and two of the fair chatelaines were sent as hostages to 
Constantinople. 

Thus, in 1262, the Byzantine Government regained a foothold in 
the Morea; a Byzantine province was created, with Mistra as its 
capital, and entrusted at first to a general of distinction annually 
appointed, and ultimately conferred as an appanage for life upon the 
Emperor's second son. The native Greeks of the whole peninsula thus 
had a rallying-point in the Byzantine province, and the suspicion of 

1 Marino Sanudo apud Hopf, Chroniques grico-romanes, p. 102. 

2 The Chronicle of the Morea, p. 296. 



THE PRINCES OF THE PELOPONNESE 93 

the Franks that the surrender of the three fortresses "might prove to 
be their ruin 1 ," turned out to be only too well-founded. As for the 
Franks who were left in the Byzantine portion of the Morea, their 
fate is obscure. Probably, as Dr Schmitt thinks, some emigrated to 
the gradually dwindling Frankish principality, while others became 
merged in the mass of Greeks around them. In all ages the Hellenes, 
like the Americans of to-day, have shown the most marvellous capacity 
for absorbing the various races which have come within their borders. 
A yet further element of evil omen for the country was introduced 
in consequence of this partial restoration of the Byzantine power. As 
might have been foreseen, the easy morality of that age speedily 
absolved the prince from his solemn oaths to the Emperor, and he 
was scarcely released when a fresh war broke out between them. It 
was then, for the first time, that we hear of Turks in the Morea — men 
who had been sent there as mercenaries by the Emperor Michael. 
Careless whom they served, so long as they were paid regularly, these 
Oriental soldiers of fortune deserted to the prince; and those who 
cared to settle in the country received lands and wives, whose offspring 
were still living, when the Chronicle of the Morea was written (p. 372), 
at two places in the peninsula. 

Unhappily for the principality, as the chronicler remarks, Guillaume 
de Villehardouin left no male heir; and nothing more strongly justifies 
the Salic law than the history of the Franks in the Morea, where it 
was not applied. Anxious to take what precautions he could against 
the disruption of his dominions after his death, the last of the Ville- 
hardouin princes married his elder daughter Isabelle to the second son 
of Charles of Anjou, the most powerful sovereign in the south of 
Europe at that time, who, in addition to his other titles, had received 
from the last Latin Emperor of the East, then a fugitive at Viterbo, 
the suzerainty over the principality of Achaia, hitherto held by the 
Emperor. This close connection with the great house of Anjou, to which 
the kingdom of the Two Sicilies then belonged, seemed to provide 
Achaia with the strongest possible support. The support, too, was 
near at hand; for communication between Italy and Glarentza, the 
chief port of the Morea, was, as we know from the novels of Boccaccio, 
not infrequent; and we hear of Frankish nobles from Achaia making 
pilgrimages to the two great Apulian sanctuaries of St Nicholas of 
Bari and Monte Santangelo. But, when Guillaume de Villehardouin 
died in 1278 and was laid beside his brother and father in the family 
mausoleum at Andravida (where excavations, made in 1890, failed to 
1 Sanudo apud Hopf, Chroniques grdco-romanes, p. 108. 



94 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

find their remains) 1 , his daughter Isabelle was still a minor, though 
already a widow. 

The government of the principality accordingly fell into the hands 
of bailies appointed by the suzerain at Naples. Sometimes the bailie 
was a man who knew the country, like Nicholas St Omer, whose name 
is still perpetuated by the St Omer tower at Thebes and the Santameri 
mountains not far from Patras; sometimes he was a foreigner, who 
knew little of the country, and, in the words which the Chronicle (p. 544) 
puts into the mouths of two Frankish nobles, "tyrannised over the 
poor, wronged the rich, and sought his own profit." The complainants 
warned Charles II of Anjou, who was now their suzerain, that he was 
going the right way to "lose the principality " ; and the King of Naples 
took their advice. He bestowed the hand of the widowed Isabelle 
upon a young Flemish nobleman, Florenz of Hainault, who was then 
at his court, and who thus became Prince of the Morea. Florenz wisely 
made peace with the Byzantine province, so that "all became rich, 
both Franks and Greeks," and the land recovered from the effects 
of war and maladministration. But the Flemings, who had crowded 
over to Greece at the news of their countryman's good fortune, were 
less scrupulous than their prince and provoked reprisals from the 
Greeks, from whom they sought to wring money. On the other hand, 
it would seem that the natives of the Byzantine province were able 
to secure good treatment from the Emperor, for there is preserved 
in that interesting little collection, the Christian Archaeological Museum 
at Athens, a golden bull of Andronikos II, dated 1293, concerning the 
privileges of the sacred rock of Monemvasia. When the modern Greeks 
come to think more highly of their mediaeval history, they should 
regard that rugged crag with reverence. For two centuries it was the 
guardian of their municipal and national liberties. 

Florenz of Hainault lived too short a time for the welfare of the 
Morea; and Isabelle, once more a widow, was married again in Rome 
(whither she had gone for the first papal jubilee of 1300) to a prince 
of the doughty house of Savoy, which thus became concerned with 
the affairs of Greece. Philip of Savoy was at the time in possession of 
Piedmont; and, as might have been expected, Piedmontese methods 
of government were not adapted to the latitude of Achaia. He was a 
man fond of spending, and an adept at extorting, money. The micro- 
scopic Dr Hopf has unearthed from the archives at Turin the bill — a 
fairly extensive one — for his wedding-breakfast; and the magnificent 
tournament which he organised on the Isthmus of Corinth, and in which 

1 BvfavTivi. xpoviKd, II. 427. 



THE PRINCES OF THE PELOPONNESE 95 

all the Frankish rulers of Greece took part, occupied a thousand knights 
for more than twenty days. " He had learned money-making at home," 
it was said, when the extravagant prince from Piedmont let it be 
understood that he expected presents from his vassals, and imposed 
taxes on the privileged inhabitants of Skorta. But the days of the 
Savoyard in Achaia were numbered. The house of Anjou, suzerains 
of the principality, had never looked with favour on his marriage with 
Isabelle; an excuse was found for deposing him in favour of another 
Philip, of Taranto, son of the King of Naples. To make matters smoother, 
Isabelle and her husband received, as some compensation for re- 
linquishing all claims to the Morea, a small strip of territory on the 
shores of the Fucine lake. They both left Greece for ever. Isabelle 
died in Holland; and Philip of Savoy sleeps in the family vault at 
Pinerolo, near Turin, leaving to his posterity by a second marriage 
the empty title of " Prince of Achaia." 

The house of Villehardouin was not yet extinct. Isabelle had a 
daughter, Matilda of Hainault, whose husband, Louis of Burgundy, 
was permitted, by the tortuous policy of the Neapolitan Angevins, to 
govern the principality. But a rival claimant now appeared in the field 
in the person of Fernando of Majorca, one of the most adventurous 
personages of those adventurous times, who is well known to us from 
the quaint Catalan Chronicle of Ramon Muntaner. Fernando had 
already had his full share of the vicissitudes of fife. He had been at 
one time head of the Catalan Grand Company, which had just won 
the Duchy of Athens on the swampy meadows of theBceotianKephissos, 
and he had sat a prisoner in the castle of Thebes, the famous Kadmeia, 
whose walls were painted with the exploits of the crusaders in the 
Holy Land . He had married the daughter of Guillaume de Villehardouin's 
younger child, the Lady of Akova, and he claimed Achaia in the name 
of his dead wife's infant son. Such was the violence of the age that 
both the rivals perished in the struggle, Fernando on the scaffold, 
and Louis of Burgundy by a poison administered to him by one of the 
petty potentates of Greece. Even more miserable was the end of the 
unhappy Matilda. Invited by the unscrupulous King of Naples to 
his court, she was informed that she must marry his brother, John 
of Gravina. With the true spirit of a Villehardouin, the Princess refused ; 
and even the Pope himself, whose authority was invoked, could not 
make her yield. She had already, she said, married again, and must 
decline to commit bigamy. This gave the King of Naples the opportunity 
he sought. He declared that, by marrying without her suzerain's 
consent, she had forfeited her principality, which he bestowed upon 



96 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

his brother. The helpless Princess was thrown into the Castel dell' Uovo 
at Naples, and was afterwards allowed to die a lingering death in 
that island-prison, the last of her race. So ended the dynasty of the 
Villehardouins. 

Grievous, indeed, was the situation of the Franks in Greece at this 
moment. Though little more than a hundred years had elapsed since 
the conquest, the families of the conquerors were almost extinct. The 
terrible blow dealt at the Frank chivalry by the rude Catalans, almost 
on the very battlefield of Chaironeia, was as fatal to Frankish, "as was 
the victory of Philip of Macedon to free, Greece. Of the barons who had 
taken part in that contest, where many Achaian nobles had stood by 
the side of the headstrong Athenian duke, only four survived. Moreover, 
the Frank aristocracy, as Finlay has pointed out, committed racial 
suicide by constituting themselves an exclusive class. Intermarriages 
with the Greeks took place, it is true; and a motley race, known as 
Gasmouloi 1 , the offspring of these unions, of whom the author of the 
Chronicle was perhaps a member, fell into the usual place of half-castes 
in the East. But Muntaner expressly says that the nobles of Achaia 
usually took their wives from France. Meanwhile new men had taken 
possession of some of the old baronies — Flemings, Neapolitans, and 
even Florentines, one of whom, Nicholas Acciajuoli, whose splendid 
tomb is to be seen in the Certosa near Florence, laid on the rocks of 
Akrocorinth the foundations of a power which, a generation later, 
made the bankers of Tuscany dukes of Athens. The Greeks, had they 
been united, might have recovered the whole peninsula "amidst this 
state of confusion. But the sketch which the imperial historian, John 
Cantacuzene, has left us of the archontes of the Morea shows that they 
were quite as much divided among themselves as the turbulent Frank 
vassals of the shadowy Prince of Achaia. "Neither good nor evil 
fortune," he wrote, "nor time, that universal solvent, can dissolve 
their mutual hatred, which not only endures all their lives, but is 
transmitted after death as a heritage to their children 2 ." 

Cantacuzene, however, took a step which ultimately led to the 
recapture of the Morea, when he abolished the system of sending a 
subordinate Byzantine official to Mistra, and appointed his second son, 
Manuel, with the title of Despot, as governor of the Byzantine province 
for life. The Despot of Mistra at once made his presence felt. He 
drove off the Turkish corsairs, who had begun to infest the deep bays 

1 MoOXot is still Moreote Greek for "a bastard"; in the first part of the word 
we perhaps have the French gars. 

* Cantacuzene (ed. Bonn), bk iv. ch. 13. 



THE PRINCES OF THE PELOPONNESE 07 

and jagged coast-line of the peninsula, levied ship-money for its defence 
against pirates, and, when his Greek subjects objected to be taxed 
for their own benefit, crushed rebellion by means of his Albanian 
bodyguard. Now, for the first time, we hear of that remarkable race, 
whose origin is as baffling to ethnologists as is their future to diplo- 
matists, in the history of the Morea, where hereafter they were destined 
to play so distinguished a part. It is to the policy of Manuel Canta- 
cuzene, who rewarded his faithful Albanians with lands in the south- 
west and centre of the country, that modern Greece owes the services 
of that valiant race, which fought so vigorously for her independence 
and its own in the last century. Manuel's example was followed by 
other Despots; and ere long ten thousand Albanians were colonising 
the devastated and deserted lands of the Peloponnese. 

Meanwhile the barren honour of Prince of Achaia had passed from 
one absentee to another. John of Gravina, who had been installed in 
the room of the last unhappy Villehardouin princess, grew disgusted 
with the sorry task of trying to restore order, and transferred his 
rights to Catherine of Valois, widow of his brother, Philip of Taranto; 
her son Robert, who was both suzerain and sovereign of the principality, 
was a mere phantom ruler whom the Achaian barons treated with con- 
tempt. After his death they offered the empty title of princess to Queen 
Joanna I of Naples on condition that she did not interfere with their fiefs 
and their feuds. Then a new set of conquerors descended upon the dis- 
tracted country, and began the last chapter of Frankish rule in Achaia. 

The great exploit of the Catalans in carving out for themselves a 
duchy bearing the august name of Athens had struck the imagination 
of Southern Europe. Towards the close of the fourteenth century a 
similar, but less famous band of freebooters, the Navarrese Company, 
repeated in Achaia what the Catalans, seventy years earlier, had 
achieved in Attica and Bceotia. Conquering nominally in the name 
of Jacques de Baux, a scion of the house of Taranto, but really for 
their own hands, the soldiers of Navarre rapidly occupied one place 
after another. Androusa, in Messenia, at that time the capital of the 
Frankish principality, fell before them; and at "sandy Pylos," the 
home of Nestor, then called Zonklon, they made such a mark that 
the spot was believed by Hopf to have derived its name of Navarino 
from the castle which they held there. In 1386 their captain, Pedro 
Bordo de San Superan, styled himself Vicar of the principality, a title 
which developed into that of prince. 

Meanwhile another Western Power, and that the most cunning 
and persistent, had taken advantage of these troublous times to gain 

m. . 7 



98 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

a footing in the Peloponnese. Venice, true to her cautious commercial 
policy, had long been content with the two Messenian stations of Modon 
and Koron, and had even refused a tempting offer of some desperate 
barons to hand over to her the whole of Achaia. During the almost 
constant disturbances which had distracted the rest of the peninsula 
since the death of Guillaume de Villehardouin, the two Venetian ports 
had enjoyed comparative peace and prosperity. The high tariffs which 
the Frankish princes had erected round their own havens had driven 
trade to these Venetian harbours, so conveniently situated for trade 
with the great Venetian island of Crete as well. The documents which 
Sathas has published from the Venetian archives are full of allusions 
to these two now almost forgotten places. But at last, towards the end 
of the fourteenth century, Venice resolved on expansion. She accordingly 
bought Argos and Nauplia, the old fiefs which the first French Lord 
of Athens had received from the first of the Villehardouins, and which 
lingered on in the hands of the representatives of the fallen Athenian 
duke. A little later Lepanto, the old Naupaktos, gave the Venetians 
a post on the Corinthian Gulf. 

As the Byzantine Empire dwindled before the incursions of the 
Turks, the Greek province of Mistra assumed more importance in the 
eyes of the statesmen at Constantinople. In 1415 the Emperor Manuel 
II, with an energy which modern sovereigns of Greece would do well 
to imitate, resolved to see for himself how matters stood, and arrived 
in the Morea. He at once set to work to re-erect the six-mile rampart, 
or "Hexamilion," across the Isthmus, which had been fortified by 
Xerxes, Valerian, Justinian, and, in recent times, by the last Despot 
of Mistra, Theodore I Palaiologos. Manuel's wall followed the course 
of Justinian's; and, in the incredibly short space of twenty-five days, 
forced labourers, working under the imperial eye, had erected a rampart 
strengthened by no less than 153 towers. 

But the Emperor saw that it was necessary to reform the Morea 
from within as well as to fortify it without. We have from the pen of 
a Byzantine satirist, Mazaris, who has written a Dialogue of the Dead 
in the manner of Lucian, a curious, if somewhat highly-coloured 
account of the Moreotes as they were, or at any rate seemed to him to 
be, at this time 1 . In the Peloponnese, he tells us, are "Lacedaemonians, 
Italians, Peloponnesians (Greeks), Slavonians, Illyrians (Albanians), 
Egyptians (gypsies), and Jews, and among them are not a few half- 
castes." He says that the Lakonians, who "are now called Tzakones," 
have "become barbarians" in their language, of which he gives some 
1 Mazaris apud Boissonade, Anecdota Graca, in. 164-78. 



THE PRINCES OF THE PELOPONNESE 99 

specimens. He goes on to make the shrewd remark, true to-day of 
all Eastern countries where the Oriental assumes a veneer of Western 
civilisation, that "each race takes the worst features of the others," 
the Greeks assimilating the turbulence of the Franks, and the Franks 
the cunning of the Greeks. So insecure was life and property that arms 
were worn night and day — a practice obsolete in the time of Thucydides. 
Of the Moreote archontes he has nothing good to say; they are "men 
who ever delight in battles and disturbances, who are for ever breathing 
murder, who are full of deceit and craft, barbarous and pig-headed, 
unstable and perjured, faithless to both Emperor and Despots." Yet 
a Venetian report — and the Venetians were keen observers — sent to 
the government a few years later, depicts the Morea as a valuable 
asset. It contained, writes the Venetian commissioner, 150 strong 
castles; the soil is rich in minerals; and it produces silk, honey, wax, 
corn, raisins, and poultry. 

Even in the midst of alarms an eminent philosopher — to the surprise 
of the elegant Byzantines, it is true — had fixed his seat at Mistra. 
George Gemistos Plethon believed that he had found in Plato a cure 
for the evils of the Morea. Centuries before the late Mr Henry George, 
he advocated a single tax. An advanced fiscal reformer, he suggested 
a high tariff for all articles which could be produced at home; a paper 
strategist, he had a scheme which he submitted, together with his 
other proposals, to the Emperor, for creating a standing army; an anti- 
clerical, he urged that the monks should work for their living, or 
discharge public functions without pay. The philosopher, in tendering 
this advice to the Emperor, modestly offered his own services for the 
purpose of carrying it out. Manuel II was a practical statesman, who 
knew that he was living, as Cicero would have said, "non in Platonis 
republica, sed in faece Lycurgi." The offer was rejected. 

At last the long threatened Turkish peril, temporarily delayed by 
the career of Timour and the great Turkish defeat at Angora, was at 
hand. The famous Ottoman commander, Evrenos Beg, had already 
twice entered the peninsula, once as the ally of the Navarrese prince 
against the Greek Despot, once as the foe of both. In 1423 a still 
greater captain, Turakhan, easily scaled the Hexamilion, leaving 
behind him at Gardiki, as a memorial of his invasion, a pyramid of 
eight hundred Albanian skulls. But, by the irony of history, just before 
Greeks and Franks alike succumbed to the all-conquering Turks, the 
dream of the Byzantine court was at last realised, and the Frank 
principality ceased to exist. 

The Greek portion of the Morea was at this time in the hands of 

7—2 



ioo FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

the three brothers of the Emperor John VI Palaiologos — Theodore II, 
Thomas, and Constantine — the third of whom was destined to die on 
the walls of Constantinople as last Emperor of the East. Politic 
marriages and force of arms soon extinguished the phantom of Frankish 
rule; and the Genoese baron, Centurione Zaccaria, nephew of Bordo 
de San Superan, who had succeeded his uncle as last Prince of Achaia, 
was glad to purchase peace by giving his daughter's hand to Thomas 
Palaiologos with the remaining fragments of the once famous principality, 
except the family barony and the princely title, as her dowry. Thus, 
when Centurione died in 1432, save for the six Venetian stations, the 
whole peninsula was once more Greek. Unhappily, the union between 
the three brothers ended with the disappearance of the common enemy. 
Both Theodore and Constantine were ambitious of the imperial diadem ; 
and, while the former was pressing his claims at Constantinople, the 
latter was besieging Mistra, having first sent the historian Phrantzes, 
his confidential agent in these dubious transactions, to obtain the 
Sultan's consent. Assisted by his brother Thomas and a force of 
Frank mercenaries, Constantine was only induced to keep the peace 
by the intervention of the Emperor; till, in 1443, Theodore removed 
this source of jealousy by carrying out his long-cherished scheme of 
retiring from public life. He accordingly handed over the government 
of Mistra to Constantine and received in exchange the city of Selymbria 
on the Sea of Marmora, where he afterwards died of the plague. 

The Morea was now partitioned between Constantine, who took 
possession of the eastern portion, embracing Lakonia, Argolis, Corinth, 
and the southern shore of the Corinthian Gulf as far as Patras, and 
Thomas, who governed the western part. With all his faults Constantine 
was a man of far greater energy and patriotism than the rest of his 
family, and he lost no time in developing a national policy. His first 
act was to restore the Hexamilion; his next, to attempt the recovery of 
the Athenian duchy from the Acciajuoli family for the Greek cause, 
which he personified. Nine years earlier, on the death of Duke Antonio, 
he had sent Phrantzes to negotiate for the cession of Athens and Thebes. 
Foiled on that occasion, he now invaded the duchy and forced the 
weak Duke Nerio II to do homage and pay tribute to him. The Albanians 
and Koutso-Wallachs of Thessaly rose in his favour ; the Serbs promised 
to aid him in defending the Isthmus against the Turks; it seemed for 
the moment as if there were at last some hope of a Christian revival 
in the Near East. But the battle of Varna soon put an end to these 
dreams. Murad II, accompanied by the Duke of Athens, set out in 
1446, at the head of a large army, for the Isthmus. The two Despots 



THE PRINCES OF THE PELOPONNESE ior 

had assembled a considerable force behind the ramparts of the Hexa- 
milion, which seemed so imposing to the Sultan that he remonstrated 
with his old military counsellor, Turakhan, for having advised him to 
attack such apparently impregnable lines so late in the season. But 
the veteran, who knew his Greeks and had taken the Hexamilion 
twenty-three years before, replied that its defenders would not long 
resist a determined attack. A Greek officer, who had been sent by 
Constantine to reconnoitre the Turkish position, came back so terrified 
at the strength of the enemy that he urged his master to retreat at 
once to the mountains of the Morea. The Despot ordered his arrest 
as a disciplinary measure, but he was so greatly struck by what he 
had heard that he sent the Athenian Chalkokondyles, father of the 
historian, to offer terms of peace to the Sultan. Murad scornfully 
rejected the proposals, arrested the envoy, and demanded, as the 
price of his friendship, the destruction of the Hexamilion and the 
payment of tribute. This was too much for the high-spirited Despot, 
and the conflict began. 

For three whole days the excellent Turkish artillery played upon 
the walls of the rampart. Then a general assault was ordered, and, after 
a brave defence by the two Despots, a young Serbian janissary climbed 
to the top of the wall and planted the Turkish flag there in full view 
of the rival hosts. The towers on either side of him were soon taken by 
his comrades, the gates were forced in, and the Turks streamed through 
them into the peninsula. The Greeks fled ; the two Despots among them ; 
Akrocorinth surrendered, and a band of 300, who had thought of 
"making a new Thermopylae" at Kenchreae, were soon forced to lay 
down their arms. Together with 600 other captives, they were beheaded 
by the Sultan's orders. Then the Turkish army was divided into two 
sections; one, under old Turakhan, penetrated into the interior; the 
other, commanded by the Sultan in person, followed the coast of the 
Corinthian Gulf, burning the mediaeval town which had arisen on the 
ruins of Sikyon. Aigion shared the same fate; but most of the in- 
habitants of Patras had escaped over the Gulf before Murad arrived 
there. The old Frankish citadel defied all the efforts of the besiegers, 
for the besieged knew that they had nothing to hope from surrender. 
A breach was made in the walls, but the defenders poured boiling 
resin on to the heads of the janissaries and worked at the rampart 
till the breach was made good. The season was by this time very far 
advanced, so the Sultan and his lieutenant withdrew to Thebes, 
dragging with them 60,000 captives, who were sold as slaves. The 
Despots were glad to obtain peace and a qualified independence by 



102 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

paying a capitation tax, and by sending their envoys to do homage 
to the Sultan in his headquarters at Thebes. The Greeks ascribed their 
misfortunes to their Albanian and Frankish mercenaries, the former 
of whom had begun to feel their power, while the latter had espoused 
the cause of Centurione's illegitimate son at the moment when the 
Despots were engaged in the defence of the country. 

On the death of the Emperor in 1448 the Despot Constantine suc- 
ceeded to the imperial title; and it is a picturesque fact that the last 
Emperor of Constantinople was crowned at Mistra, where his wife 
still lies buried, near that ancient Sparta which had given so many 
heroes to Hellas. His previous government was bestowed on his 
youngest brother Demetrios, with the exception of Patras, which was 
added to the province of Thomas. The new partition took place in 
Constantinople, where the two brothers solemnly swore before God and 
their aged mother to love one another and to rule the Morea in perfect 
unanimity. But no sooner had they arrived at their respective capitals 
of Mistra and Patras than they proceeded to break their oaths. Thomas, 
the more enterprising of the two, attacked his brother; Demetrios, 
destitute of patriotism, called in the aid of the Turks, who readily 
appeared under the leadership of Turakhan, made Thomas disgorge 
most of what he had seized, and on the way destroyed what remained 
of the Hexamilion. The object of this was soon obvious. As soon as 
the new Sultan, Mohammed II, was ready to attack Constantinople, 
he ordered Turakhan to keep the two Palaiologoi busy in the Morea, 
so that they might not send assistance to their brother the Emperor. 
The old Pasha once again marched into the peninsula; but he found 
greater resistance than he had expected on the Isthmus. He and 
his two sons, Achmet and Omar, then spread their forces over the 
country, plundering and burning as they went, till the certainty of 
Constantinople's fall rendered their presence in the Morea no longer 
necessary. But as Achmet was retiring through the Pass of Dervenaki, 
that death-trap of armies, between Argos and Corinth, the Greeks 
fell upon him, routed his men and took him prisoner. Demetrios, either 
from gratitude for Turakhan's recent services to him, or from fear 
of the old warrior's revenge, released his captive without ransom. It 
was the last ray of light before the darkness of four centuries descended 
upon Greece. 

The news that Constantinople had fallen and that the Emperor had 
been slain came like a thunderbolt upon his wretched brothers, who 
naturally expected that they would be the next victims. But Mohammed 
was not in a hurry; he knew that he could annihilate them when he 



THE PRINCES OF THE PELOPONNESE 103 

chose ; meanwhile he was content to accept an annual tribute of 12,000 
ducats. The folly of the greedy Byzantine officials, who held the chief 
posts at the petty courts of Patras and Mistra, had prepared, however, a 
new danger for the Despots. The Albanian colonists had multiplied 
while the Greek population had diminished; and the recent Turkish 
devastations had increased the extent of waste land where they could 
pasture their sheep. Fired by the great exploits of their countryman, 
Skanderbeg, in Albania, they were seized by one of those rare yearnings 
for independence which meet us only occasionally in Albanian history. 
The official mind seized this untoward moment to demand a higher 
tax from the Albanian lands. The reply of the shepherds was a general 
insurrection in which 30,000 Albanians followed the lead of their 
chieftain, Peter Boua, " the lame." Their object was to expel the Greeks 
from the peninsula; but this, of course, did not prevent other Greeks, 
dissatisfied, for reasons of their own, with the rule of the Despots, 
from throwing in their lot with the Albanians. A Cantacuzene gained 
the support of the insurgents for his claims on Mistra by taking an 
Albanian name; the bastard son of Centurione emerged from prison 
and was proclaimed as Prince of Achaia. Both Mistra and Patras were 
besieged; and it soon became clear that nothing but Turkish interven- 
tion could save the Morea from becoming an Albanian principality. 
Accordingly, the aid of the invincible Turakhan was again solicited; 
and, as Mohammed believed in the policy — long followed in Macedonia 
by his successors — of keeping the Christian races as evenly balanced 
as possible, the Turkish general was sent to suppress the revolt without 
utterly destroying the revolted. Turakhan carried out his instructions 
with consummate skill. He soon put down the insurgents, but allowed 
them to retain their stolen cattle and the waste lands which they had 
occupied, on payment of a fixed rent. He then turned to the two 
Despots and gave them the excellent advice to live as brothers, to be 
lenient to their subjects, and to be vigilant in the prevention of dis- 
turbances. Needless to say, his advice was not taken. 

The power of the Palaiologoi was at an end; and the Greek archontes 
and Albanian chiefs did not hesitate to put themselves in direct com- 
munication with the Sultan when they wanted the confirmation of 
their privileges. But the Despots might, perhaps, have preserved the 
forms of authority for the rest of their lives had it not been for the 
rashness of Thomas, who seemed to be incapable of learning by experience 
that he only existed on sufferance. In 1457, emboldened by the suc- 
cesses of Skanderbeg, he refused to pay his tribute. Mohammed II 
was not the man to submit to an insult of that sort from a petty 



io4 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

prince whom he could crush whenever he chose. In the spring of the 
following year the great Sultan appeared at the Isthmus; but this 
time the noble fortress of Akrocorinth held out against him. Leaving a 
force behind him to blockade it, he advanced into the interior of the 
peninsula, accompanied by the self-styled Albanian leader in the late 
revolt, Cantacuzene, whose influence he found useful in treating with 
the Arnauts. The Greeks, whom he took, were despatched as colonists 
to Constantinople; the Albanians, who had broken their parole, were 
punished by the breaking of their wrists and ankles — a horrible scene 
long commemorated by the Turkish name of "Tokmak Hissari," or 
"the castle of the ankles." Mouchli, at that time one of the chief towns 
in the Morea, near the classic ruins of Mantinea, offered considerable 
resistance ; but lack of water forced the defenders to yield, and then the 
Sultan returned to Corinth. His powerful cannon soon wrecked the 
bakehouse and the magazines of the citadel; provisions fell short; and 
the fact was betrayed by the archbishop to the besiegers. At last the 
place surrendered, and its gallant commander was deputed by Mohammed 
to bear his terms of peace to Thomas. The latter was ordered to cede 
the country as far south as Mouchli, and as far west as Patras; this 
district was then united with the Pashalik of Thessaly, the governor 
of the whole province being Turakhan's son Omar, who remained with 
10,000 soldiers in the Morea. The other Despot, Demetrios, was com- 
manded to send his daughter to the Sultan's harem. 

Thomas at once complied with his conqueror's demands; but his 
ambition soon revived when Mohammed had gone. Fresh victories of 
Skanderbeg suggested to him the flattering idea that a Palaiologos 
could do more than a mere Albanian. Divisions among the Turkish 
officers in his old dominions increased his confidence — a quality in 
which Greeks are not usually lacking. Early in 1459 he raised the 
standard of revolt; but, at the same time, committed the folly of 
attacking his brother's possessions. Phrantzes, who, after having been 
sold as a slave when Constantinople fell, had obtained his freedom and 
had entered the service of Thomas, has stigmatised in forcible language 
the wickedness of those evil counsellors who had advised his master 
to embark on a civil war and to ' ' eat his oaths as if they were vegetables." 
Most of Thomas' successes were at the expense of his brother, for, of 
all the places lately annexed by the Turks, Kalavryta alone was 
recovered. But the Albanians did far more harm to the country than 
either the Greeks or the Turkish garrison by plundering both sides 
with absolute impartiality and deserting from Thomas to Demetrios, 
or from Demetrios to Thomas, on the slightest provocation. Meanwhile 



THE PRINCES OF THE PELOPONNESE 105 

the Turks attacked Thomas at Leondari, at the invitation of his 
brother; and the defeat which he sustained induced the miserable 
Despot to go through the form of reconciliation with Demetrios, under 
the auspices of Holy Church. This display of brotherly love had the 
usual sequel — a new fratricidal war; but Mohammed II had now made 
up his mind to put an end to the Palaiologoi, and marched straight 
to Mistra. Demetrios soon surrendered, and humbly appeared in the 
presence of his master. The Sultan insisted upon the prompt per- 
formance of his former command, that the Despot's daughter should 
enter the seraglio, and told him that Mistra could no longer be his. 
He therefore ordered him to bid his subjects surrender all their cities 
and fortresses — an order which was at once executed, except at 
Monemvasia. That splendid citadel, which had so long defied the 
Franks at the zenith of their power, and boasted of the special pro- 
tection of Providence, now scorned to surrender to the infidel. The 
daughter of Demetrios, who had been sent thither for safety, was, 
indeed, handed over to the Turkish envoys, and Demetrios himself 
was conducted to Constantinople; but the Monemvasiotes proclaimed 
Thomas as their liege lord, and he shortly afterwards presented 
Monemvasia to the Pope, who appointed a governor. 

Having thus wiped the province of Demetrios from the map, 
Mohammed turned his arms against Thomas. Wherever a city resisted, 
its defenders were punished without mercy and in violation of the most 
solemn pledges. The Albanian chiefs who had defied the Sultan at 
Kastritza were sawn asunder; the Albanian captain of Kalavryta was 
flayed alive; Gardiki was once more the scene of a terrible massacre, 
ten times worse than that which had disgraced Turakhan thirty-seven 
years before. These acts of cruelty excited very different feelings in 
the population. Some, especially the Albanians, were inspired to fight 
with the courage of despair; others preferred slavery to an heroic 
death. From the neighbourhood of Navarino alone 10,000 persons 
were dragged away to colonise Constantinople; and a third of the Greeks 
of Greveno, which had dared to resist, were carried off as slaves. The 
castles of Glarentza and Santameri were surrendered by the descendants 
of Guillaume de Villehardouin's Turks, who experienced, like the 
Albanians, the faithless conduct of their conquerors. Meanwhile Thomas 
had fled to Navarino, and, on the day when the Sultan reached that 
place, set sail with his wife and family from a neighbouring harbour 
for Corfu. There the faithful Phrantzes joined him and wrote his history 
of these events — the swan-song of free Greece. 

Another Palaiologos, however, Graitzas by name, showed a heroism 



106 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

of which the Despot was incapable. This man, the last defender of his 
country, held out in the castle of Salmenikon between Patras and Aigion 
till the following year, and, when the town was taken, still defied all 
the efforts of the Turks, who allowed him to withdraw, with all the 
honours of war, into Venetian territory at Lepanto. In the autumn of 
1460 Mohammed left the Morea, after having appointed Zagan Pasha 
as military governor, with orders to instal the new Turkish authorities 
and to make arrangements for the collection of the capitation tax and 
of the tribute of children. Thus the Morea fell under Turkish rule, 
which thenceforward continued for an almost unbroken period of three 
hundred and fifty years. Save at Monemvasia, where the papal flag 
still waved, and at Nauplia, Argos, Thermisi, Koron, Modon, and 
Navarino, where Venice still retained her colonies, there was none to 
dispute the Sultan's sway. 

The fate of the Palaiologoi deserves a brief notice. Demetrios lived 
ten years at -ZEnos in Thrace in the enjoyment of the pension which 
Mohammed allowed him, and died a monk at Adrianople in 1470. 
His daughter, whom the Sultan never married after all, had predeceased 
him. Thomas proceeded to Rome with the head of St Andrew from 
Patras as a present for the Pope, who received the precious relic with 
much ceremony at the spot near the Ponte Molle, where the little 
chapel of St Andrew now commemorates the event, and assigned to 
its bearer a pension of 300 ducats a month, to which the cardinals 
added 200 more, and Venice a smaller sum. He died at Rome in 1465, 
leaving two sons and two daughters. One of the latter died in a convent 
on the island of Santa Maura; the other married, first a Caracciolo of 
Naples and then the Grand Duke Ivan III of Russia, by whom she 
had a daughter, afterwards the wife of Alexander Jagellon of Poland. 
With this daughter the female line became extinct. Of Thomas' two 
sons, the elder, Andrew, married a woman off the streets of Rome, 
ceded all his rights, first to Charles VIII of France, and then to 
Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, and died in 1502 without issue. The 
younger son, Manuel, escaped from papal tutelage to the court of 
Mohammed II, who gave him an establishment and allowed him a 
daily sum for its maintenance. He died a Christian; but of his two 
sons (the elder of whom died young), the younger became a Mussulman, 
took the name of Mohammed, and is last heard of in the reign of Sulei- 
man the Magnificent. Though the family would thus appear to have 
long been extinct, a Cornish antiquary announced in 18 15 that the 
church of Landulph contained a monument to one of Thomas' des- 
cendants. A few years ago a lady residing in London considered herself 



THE PRINCES OF THE PELOPONNESE 107 

to be the heiress of the Palaiologoi and aspired to play a part in the 
Eastern question 1 . But neither of these claims is genealogically sound ; 
for there is no historical proof of the existence of the supposed third 
son of Thomas, mentioned in the Landulph inscription. But, after all, 
the world has not lost much by the extinction of this race, nor would 
the future of Constantinople or Greece be affected by its revival. 



APPENDIX 

THE NAME OF NAVARINO 

Ever since Hopf published his history of mediaeval Greece writers 
on that subject have followed his opinion that the name of Navarino 
was derived from the Navarrese Company, which entered the Morea in 
1381 to support the claims of Jacques de Baux, titular emperor of 
Constantinople and prince of Achaia, and which established its head- 
quarters at the classic Pylos. Hopf adduces no evidence in support 
of this derivation, which he thrice repeats 2 , except that of the French 
traveller De Caumont, who saw at Pylos in 1418 ung chasteau hault sur 
une montaigne que se nomme chasteau Navarres 3 . But his opinion, 
mainly formed in order to controvert the anti-Hellenic theory of 
Fallmerayer, has been followed, also without proof, by Hertzberg 4 , 
Tozer 5 , and more tentatively by Paparregopoulos 6 . The name of 
Navarino, however, seems to have existed long before the Navarrese 

1 Finlay, iv. 267; Ersch und Gruber, lxxxvi. 131-33; Rev. F. Vyvyan 
Jago in the Avchceologia, xviii. 83 sqq. I am indebted to the courtesy of the 
Rev. S. Gregory, the present rector of Landulph, for the following copy of the 
brass plate there: 

Here lyeth the body of Theodoro Paleologus 
of Pesaro in Italye, descended from ye Imperyall 

lyne of ye last Christian Emperors of Greece, 
being the Sonne of Camilio ye Sonne of Prosper 

the Sonne of Theodoro the Sonne of John ye 
Sonne of Thomas, second brother to Constantine 

Paleologus the 8th of that name, and last of 
yt lyne yt raygned in Constantinople until sub- 
dewed by the Turkes; who married with Mary 

ye daughter of William Balls of Hadlye in 
Souffolke gent, and had issue 5 children: Theo- 
doro, John, Ferdinando, Maria, and Dorothy & de- 
parted this lyfe at Clyfton ye 21st January, 1636. 

2 Geschichte Griechenlands vom Beginn des Mittelalters, in Ersch und Gruber's 
Allgemeine Encyklopadie, lxxxv. 212, 321, lxxxvi. 24. 

8 Voyaige d'Oultremer, p. 89. 

4 Geschichte Griechenlands, 1. 138. 

8 Finlay, 1. 338, note. 

6 'IffTopta Tov'JZWrivtKov "E6vovs, V. 300 (4th ed.). 



108 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

Company ever set foot in Greece. Nearly a century earlier a golden 
bull 1 of the Emperor Andronikos II, dated 1293, confirmed the pos- 
sessions of the church of Monemvasia, among which it specially mentions 
rrjv TlvXov, rov KaKovfxevov ' Aftapivov. A little before the date of this 
imperial document (1287-1289) Nicholas II de Saint-Omer, lord of half 
Thebes, was bailie of the principality of Achaia for Charles II of Naples, 
and the Greek Chronicle of the Morea 2 tells us that eyriaev to Kaarpov 
rov 'Afiapivov. Now Hopf himself thought that the French version of 
the Chronicle, Le Livre de la Conqueste 3 (in which the above passage runs 
ferma le chastel de port de Junch), was the original of the four editions 
which we possess. It is generally agreed that the French version was 
written between 1333 and 1341 ; but it is by no means certain that the 
French is the original and the Greek a translation; rather would it 
appear that the Greek was the original, in which case it was composed 
in the early part of the fourteenth century, for the one passage 4 which 
refers to an event as late as 1388 is regarded as an interpolation by 
the latest editor of the Chronicle, Dr Schmitt. Even the most recent 
of all the four versions — the Aragonese — was written, as it expressly 
says 5 , no later than 1393. Therefore we have every reason for regarding 
the mention of the name 'Afiaptvos in the Greek Chronicle as a second 
proof that it was in common use long before the time of the Navarrese 6 . 

There are several other passages in which the name occurs, the 
date of which cannot, however, be fixed with certainty. In the Synek- 
demos of Hierokles 7 we have three times the phrase HvXos, r) irarpU 
Neo-Topo9, vvv he /eaXelrat 'A/3ap«/o?. Now Hierokles wrote before 
535, but all these three passages occur in the lists of towns which have 
changed their names, and these three lists must belong, as Krumbacher 
points out, to a much later period than the main body of the work. 
The scholiast to Ptolemy 8 also makes an annotation IIvXo? 6 koI 
'Aftapivos, and in the Latin manuscripts of that passage the rendering 
is Pylus, qui et Abarmus (sic). 

The alteration of Abarinos into Navarino follows, of course, the 
usual Greek habit of prefixing to the mediaeval name the last letter 

1 Miklosich und Muller, Acta et Diplomata Graca Medii Mvi, v. 155-61. 

2 L. 8096. » P. 275. 
4 L. 8469. 8 P. 160. 

• The form Abarinos does not occur in the French, Italian, and Aragonese 
versions of the Chronicle, because the Franks always called the place port de Junch, 
or Zonklon, from the rushes which grew there — a name very frequent, in a more or 
less corrupt form, in the Venetian documents of the thirteenth century, e.g. in that 
locus classicus for Frankish names the list of depredations by pirates in Greece 
drawn up in 1278 (Tafel und Thomas, Fontes Rerum Austriacarum, Abth. n. B. 
xiv. 237). 

7 Pp. 61, 66, 68 (ed. Burckhardt). 8 Geogr. in. 16. 



THE PRINCES OF THE PELOPONNESE 109 

of the accusative of the article. Thus ei9 rov 'Kfiaplvov becomes 
NafSaplvov, just as et? rrjv U6\iv becomes Stambul, eh Ta$ 'Adrjvas 
Satines or Sathines, eh ras ®r}/3a<} E stives. The conclusion seems to 
be that Fallmerayer was right after all when he derived the name of 
Navarino from a settlement of Avars on the site of the ancient Pylos 1 . 
The settlement of the Navarrese Company there was merely a coinci- 
dence. 

It may be added that Abarinus also occurs in a document 2 of 
Charles I of Naples, dated 1280, as the name of a place in Apulia, not 
apparently Bari. 

Since I wrote the above note on this subject I have found two other 
passages which confirm the view that the name of Navarino existed 
before the Navarrese Company entered Greece. They occur in the 
Comtnemoriali z t where we find Venice complaining to Robert, prince 
of Achaia, and to the bailie of Achaia and Lepanto that the crew of 
a Genoese ship had started from Navarrino vecchio and had plundered 
some Venetian subjects. The dates of these two documents are 1355 
and 1356. The late Professor Krumbacher, in the Byzantinische 
Zeitschrift (xiv .675), agreed that Hopf's derivation had been disproved 
by my article, but thought that the name of Navarino comes not from 
the Avars, but from the Slavonic javorina, "a wood of maples." 

1 Geschichte der Halbinsel Morea, I. 188. 
* Buchon, Nouvelies Recherches, II. i. 332. 
8 Ed. Predelli, n. 231, 248. 

AUTHORITIES 

1. The Chronicle of Morea. Ed. John Schmitt, Ph.D. London, 1904. 

2. Le Livre de la Conqueste. In Recherches historiques sur la Principauti 

francaise de Morie. Tome 11. By J. A. Buchon. Paris, 1845. New 
Edn. by J. Longnon. Paris, 1911. 

3. 'laropia rov 'EWijvkov "Edvovs (History of the Greek Nation). By K. 

Paparregopoulos. 4th Edn. Athens, 1903. 

4. Geschichte Griechenlands vom Beginn des Mittelalters. Von K. Hopf. 

In Ersch und Gruber's Allgemeine Encyklopddie . Bande 85, 86. 
Leipzig, 1867. 

5. Chroniques Greco-Romanes inddites ou peu connues. Published by 

Charles Hopf. Berlin, 1873. 

6. Geschichte der Stadt A then im Mittelalter. Von F. Gregorovius. 3rd 

Edn. Stuttgart, 1889. 

7. La Conquete de Constantinople , par Geoff roy de Villehardouin. By fimile 

Bouchet. Paris, 1891. 

8. Georgii Acropolitce Opera. Ed. by A. Heisenberg. Leipzig, 1903. 

9. Corpus Scriptorum Histories Byzantines. Bonn, 1828-43. 

10. Anecdota Gresca. Ed. J. Fr. Boissonade. Tom. in. Paris, 1831. 



no FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

4. THE DUKES OF ATHENS 

Nations, like individuals, sometimes have the romance of their lives 
in middle age — a romance unknown, perhaps, to the outside world 
until, long years afterwards, some forgotten bundle of letters throws a 
flash of rosy light upon a period hitherto regarded as uneventful and 
commonplace. So is it with the history of Athens under the Frankish 
domination, which Finlay first described in his great work. But since 
his day numerous documents have been published, and still more are in 
course of publication, which complete the picture of mediaeval Athens as 
he drew it in a few master-strokes. Barcelona and Palermo have been 
ransacked for information; the Venetian archives have yielded a rich 
harvest; Milan has contributed her share; and a curious collection of 
Athenian legends has been made by an industrious and patriotic Greek. 
We know now, as we never knew before, the strange story of the classic 
city under her French, her Catalan, and her Florentine masters ; and it is 
high time that the results of these researches should be laid before the 
British public. The present paper deals with the first two of these three 
periods. 

The history of Frankish Athens begins with the Fourth Crusade. By 
the deed of partition, which divided up the Byzantine Empire among 
the Latin conquerors of Constantinople, the crusading army, whose 
chief was Boniface, Marquess of Montferrat, had received " the district 
of Athens with the territory of Megara 1 "; and both Attica and Bceotia 
were included in that short-lived realm of Salonika, of which he assumed 
the title of king. Among the trusty followers who accompanied Boniface 
in his triumphal progress across his new dominions was Othon de la Roche, 
son of a Burgundian noble, who had rendered him a valuable service by 
assisting to settle the serious dispute between him and the first Latin 
Emperor of Constantinople, and who afterwards negotiated the marriage 
between his daughter and the Emperor Baldwin I's brother and 
successor. This was the man upon whom the King of Salonika, in 1205, 
bestowed the most famous city of the ancient world. Thus, in the words 
of an astonished chronicler from the West, "Othon de la Roche, son of 
a certain Burgundian noble, became, as by a miracle, Duke of the 
Athenians and Thebans 2 ." 

The chronicler was only wrong in the title which he attributed to the 
lucky Frenchman, who had succeeded by an extraordinary stroke of 

1 Tafel und Thomas, Fontes Rer. Austr. pt n. vol. xn. 464-88. 

2 Albericus Trium Fontium, Chronicon, 11. 439. 



THE DUKES OF ATHENS in 

fortune to the past glories of the heroes and sages of Athens. Othon 
modestly styled himself "Sire d'Athenes" or "Dominus Athenarum," 
which his Greek subjects magnified into the "Great Lord" (Meya? Kvp 
or Meyas Kvprjs), and Dante, in the Purgatorio, transferred by a poetic 
anachronism to Peisistratos. Contemporary accounts make no mention 
of any resistance to Othon de la Roche on the part of the Greeks, nor was 
such likely; for the eminent man, Michael Akominatos, who was then 
Metropolitan of Athens, was fully aware that the Akropolis could not 
long resist a Western army. Later Venetian writers, however, actuated 
perhaps by patriotic bias, propagated a story that the Athenians sent 
an embassy offering their city to Venice, but that their scheme was 
frustrated, "not without bloodshed, by the men of Champagne under 
the Lord de la Roche 1 ." If so, it was the sole effort which the Greeks of 
Attica made during the whole century of French domination. 

Othon's dominions were large, if measured by the small standard of 
classical Greece. The Burgundian state of Athens embraced Attica, 
Bceotia, Megaris, and the ancient Opuntian Lokris to the north; while 
to the south of the isthmus the "Great Lord's" deputies governed the 
important strongholds of Argos and Nauplia, conferred upon him, in 
1212, by Prince Geoffroy I of Achaia as the reward of his assistance in 
capturing them, and thenceforth held by Othon and his successors for a 
century as fiefs of the Principality. The Italian Marquess of Boudonitza 
on the north, the Lord of Salona on the west, were the neighbours, and 
the latter subsequently the vassal, of the ruler of Athens, his bulwarks 
against the expanding power of the Greek despots of Epeiros. Thus 
situated, mediaeval Athens had at least four ports — Livadostro, or 
Rive d'Ostre, as the Franks called it, on the Gulf of Corinth, where Othon's 
relatives landed when they arrived from France ; the harbour of Atalante 
opposite Eubcea; the beautiful bay of Nauplia; and the famous Piraeus, 
known in the Frankish times by the name of Porto Leone from the huge 
Hon, now in front of the Arsenal at Venice, which then guarded the 
entrance to the haven of Themistokles. It is strange, in these circum- 
stances, that the Burgundian rulers of Athens made little or no attempt 
to create a navy, especially as Latin pirates infested the coast of Attica, 
and a sail down the Corinthian Gulf was described as "a voyage to 
Acheron 2 ." 

Guiltless of a classical education, and unmoved by the genius of the 
place, Othon abstained from seeking a model for the constitution of his 

1 A. Dandolo, Chronicon Venetum, apud Muratori, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores, 
xn - 335 '• L. de Monacis, Chronicon, p. 143 ; Magno, apud Hopf, Chroniques grdco- 
romanes, p. 179. 

2 Miklosich und Miiller, Acta et Diplomata Grcsca Medii Mvi, in. 61. 



H2 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

new state in the laws of Solon. Like the other Frankish princes of the 
Levant, he adopted the " Book of the Customs of the Empire of Romania," 
a code of usages based on the famous "Assizes of Jerusalem." But the 
feudal society which was thus installed in Attica was very different from 
that which existed in the Principality of Achaia or in the Duchy of the 
Archipelago. The "Great Lord" of Athens had, at the most, only one 
exalted noble, the head of the famous Flemish house of St Omer, near 
his throne. It is obvious, from the silence of all the authorities, that the 
Burgundianswho settled in Othon's Greek dominions were men of inferior 
social position to himself, a fact further demonstrated by the com- 
parative lack in Attica and Bceotia of those baronial castles so common 
in the Peloponnese. 

In one respect the Court of Athens, under Othon de la Roche, must 
have resembled the Court of the late King George, namely, that there 
was no one, except the members of his own family, with whom the ruler 
could associate on equal terms. But, as in Georgian, so in Frankish 
Athens, the family of the sovereign was numerous enough to form a 
society of its own. Not only did Othon marry a Burgundian heiress, by 
whom he had two sons, but the news of his astounding good fortune 
attracted to the new El Dorado in Greece various members of his clan 
from their home in Burgundy. They doubtless received their share of 
the good things which had fallen to their lucky relative; a favourite 
nephew, Guy, divided with his uncle the lordship of Thebes; a more 
distant relative became commander of the castle of Athens. Both 
places became the residences of Latin archbishops ; and in the room of 
Michael Akominatos, in the magnificent church of " Our Lady of Athens," 
as the Parthenon was now called, a Frenchman named Berard, perhaps 
Othon's chaplain, inaugurated the long series of the Catholic prelates of 
that ancient see. The last Greek Metropolitan retired sorrowfully from 
his plundered cathedral to the island of Keos, whence he could still see 
the shores of his beloved Attica; and for well-nigh two centuries his 
titular successors never once visited their confiscated diocese. The Greek 
priests who remained behind performed their services in the church near 
the Roman market, which was converted into a mosque at the time of 
the Turkish conquest, and has now been degraded to a military bakery; 
while Innocent III assigned to the Catholic archbishop the ancient 
jurisdiction of the Orthodox Metropolitan over his eleven suffragans, 
and confirmed to the Church of Athens its possessions at Phyle and 
Marathon — places still called by their classical names. 

The renewal of the divine grace (wrote the enthusiastic Pope to Berard) 
suffereth not the ancient glory of the city of Athens to grow old. The citadel 



THE DUKES OF ATHENS 113 

of most famous Pallas hath been humbled to become the seat of the most 
glorious Mother of God. Well may we call this city " Kirjath-sepher," which 
when Othniel had subdued to the rule of Caleb, " he gave him Achsah, his 
daughter to wife 1 ." 

But the " Othniel " of Athens, to whom the Pope had made a punning 
allusion, was, like the other Frankish rulers of his time, a sore trial to 
the Holy See. He forbade his subjects to give or bequeath their pos- 
sessions to the Church, levied dues from the clergy, and showed no 
desire to pay tithes or compel his people to pay them. A "concordat" 
between Church and State was at last drawn up in 1210, at a Parliament 
convened by the Latin Emperor Henry in the valley of Ravenika, near 
Lamia, and attended by Othon and all the chief feudal lords of con- 
tinental Greece. By this it was agreed that the clergy of both dominations 
should pay the old Byzantine land-tax to the temporal authorities, but 
that, in return, all churches, monasteries, and other ecclesiastical 
property, should be entrusted to the Latin Patriarch of Constantinople 
free of all feudal services. 

Othon was more loyal to the Empire than to the Papacy. When the 
Lombard nobles of Salonika, on the death of Boniface, tried to shake off 
the feudal tie which bound that kingdom to the Latin Emperor, he stood 
by the latter, even though his loyalty cost him the temporary loss of his 
capital of Thebes. He was rewarded by a visit which the Emperor Henry 
paid him at Athens, where no Imperial traveller had set foot since Basil 
"the Bulgar-slayer," two centuries earlier, had offered up prayer and 
thanksgivings in the greatest of all cathedrals. Like Basil, Henry also 
prayed "in the Minster of Athens, which men call Our Lady," and 
received from his host "every honour in his power 2 ." Only once again 
did an emperor of Constantinople bow down in the Parthenon ; and then 
it was not as a conqueror but as a fugitive that he came. 

The "Great Lord" was not fired with the romance of reigning over 
the city of Perikles and Plato. When old age crept on, he felt, like many 
another baron of the conquest, that he would like to spend the evening 
of his days in his native land; and in 1225 he departed for Burgundy 
with his wife and sons, leaving his nephew, Guy, to succeed him in 
Greece. Under the wise rule of his successor, the Athenian state prospered 
exceedingly. Thebes, where Guy and his connections, the great family 
of St Omer, resided, had recovered much of its fame as the seat of the 
silk manufactory. Jews and Genoese both possessed colonies there; and 
the shrewd Ligurian traders negotiated a commercial treaty with the 

1 Innocentii III Epistola, xi. 111-113, 238, 240, 252, 256. 

2 Henri de Valenciennes (ed. Paulin Paris), ch. 35. 



ii4 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

new ruler which allowed them to have their own consul, their own court 
of justice, and their own buildings both there and at Athens. 

The Greeks too profited by the enlightened policy of their sovereign. 
One Greek monk at this time made the road to the monastery of St John 
the Hunter on the slopes of Hymettos, to which the still standing column 
on the way to Marathon alludes ; another built one of the two churches at 
the quaint little monastery of Our Lady of the Glen, not far from the 
fort of Phyle. For thirty years Athens enjoyed profound peace, till a 
fratricidal war between Guillaume deVillehardouin,the ambitious Prince 
of Achaia, and the great barons of Eubcea involved Guy in their quarrel. 
The prince summoned Guy, his vassal for Argos and Nauplia, to assist 
him against his foes; Guy, though bound not only by this feudal tie 
but by his marriage to one of William's nieces, refused his aid, and did all 
he could to help the enemies of the prince. The latter replied by in- 
vading the dominions of his nephew. Forcing the Kake Skala, that 
narrow and ill-famed road which leads along the rocky coast of the 
Saronic Gulf towards Megara, he met Guy's army at the pass of Mount 
Karydi, " the walnut mountain," on the way to Thebes. There Frankish 
Athens and Frankish Sparta first met face to face; the Sire of Athens 
was routed and fled to Thebes, where he obtained peace by a promise to 
appear before the High Court of Achaia and perform any penalty which 
it might inflict upon him for having borne arms against the Prince. 

The High Court met at Nikli near Tegea; and the Sire of Athens, 
escorted by all his chivalry, made a brave show before the assembled 
barons. They were so much impressed by the spectacle that they 
declared they could not judge so great a man, and referred the decision 
to St Louis of France, the natural protector of the French nobles of 
Greece. The chivalrous monarch propounded the question to the 
parlement at Paris, which decided that Guy was technically guilty, but 
that the trouble and cost of his long journey to France was ample 
punishment for his offence. Louis IX, anxious to show him some mark 
of royal favour, conferred upon him, at his special request, the title of 
Duke of Athens, for which, he told the king, there was an ancient 
precedent. The ducal style borne by Guy and his successors has become 
famous in literature as well as in history. Dante, Boccaccio, Chaucer, 
and Shakespeare bestowed it upon Theseus, and the Catalan chronicler, 
Muntaner, upon Menelaos. 

Meanwhile the wheel of fortune had avenged the Duke of Athens. 
His victorious enemy, involved in a quarrel between the rival Greek 
states of Nice and Epeiros, had been taken prisoner by the Greek 
Emperor; and the flower of the Achaian chivalry was either dead or 



THE DUKES OF ATHENS 115 

languishing in the dungeons of Lampsakos. In these circumstances the 
survivors offered to Guy the regency of Achaia — a post which he 
triumphantly accepted. But he had not been long in Greece when 
another blow descended upon the Franks. The Latin Empire of 
Constantinople fell; and the Emperor Baldwin II, a landless exile, was 
glad to accept the hospitality of the Theban Kadmeia and the Castle 
of Athens. Thus, on that venerable rock, was played the last pitiful scene 
in the brief Imperial drama of the Latin Orient 1 . 

Fired by the reconquest of Constantinople, Michael VIII now 
meditated the recovery of the Peloponnese, and demanded the cession 
of the three strongest castles in the peninsula as the price of his prisoner's 
freedom. It was Guy's duty, as regent of Achaia, to convene the High 
Court of the Principality to consider this momentous question. The par- 
liament, almost exclusively composed of ladies — for all the men of mark 
had been slain or were in prison — decided, against Guy's better judgment, 
in favour of accepting the Emperor's terms; and Guy, whose position 
was one of great delicacy, finally yielded. Not long afterwards, the first 
Duke of Athens died, conscious of having heaped coals of fire upon the 
head of his enemy, and proud of leaving to his elder son, John, a state 
more prosperous than any other in Greece. 

The second Duke, less fortunate than his father, was involved in the 
wars against the Greek Emperor, which occupied so much of that period. 
The restless scion of the house of Angelos, who had carved out for 
himself a principality in the ancient realm of Achilles in Phthiotis, and 
reigned over Wallachs and Greeks at Neopatras, or La Patre, beneath 
the rocky walls of Mount (Eta, fled as a suppliant to the Theban Court 
and offered the duke the hand of his daughter Helene if he would only 
assist him against the Palaiologoi. The duke, gouty and an invalid, 
declined matrimony, but promised his aid. At the head of a picked body 
of Athenian knights he easily routed the vastly superior numbers of the 
Imperial army, which he contemptuously summed up in a phrase, 
borrowed from Herodotos, as "many people, but few men." As his 
reward he obtained for his younger brother William the fair Helene as a 
bride; and her dowry, which included the important town of Lamia, 
extended the influence of the Athenian duchy as far north as Thessaly. 
But John of Athens was destined to experience, like William of Achaia, 
the most varied changes of fortune. Wounded in a fight with the Greeks 
and their Catalan allies outside the walls of Negroponte, he fell from his 
horse and was carried off a prisoner to Constantinople. Michael VIII did 
not, however, treat the Duke of Athens as he had treated the Prince of 
1 Sanudo, apud Hopf, Chroniques grSco-romanes , p. 136. 

8—2 



n6 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

Achaia. He made no demand for Athenian territory, but contented 
himself with a ransom of some £13,500. Policy, rather than generosity, 
was the cause of this apparent inconsistency. Fears of an attack by 
Charles of Anjou, alarm at the restless ambition of his prisoner's kins- 
man, the Duke of Neopatras, and suspicion of the orthodox clerical party 
in his own capital, which regarded him as a schismatic because of his 
overtures to Rome, convinced him that the policy of 1262 would not 
suit the altered conditions of 1279. He even offered his daughter in 
marriage to his prisoner, but the latter refused the Imperial alliance. A 
year later John died, and William his brother reigned in his stead. 

During the seven years of his reign William de la Roche was the 
leading figure in Frankish Greece. Acknowledging the suzerainty of the 
Angevin kings of Naples, who had become overlords of Achaia by the 
treaty of Viterbo, he was appointed their viceroy in that principality, 
and in that capacity built the castle of Dematra, the site of which may 
be perhaps found at Kastri, between Tripolitsa and Sparta. Possessed 
of ample means, he spent his money liberally for the defence of Frankish 
Greece, alike in the Peloponnese and in Eubcea; and great was the grief 
of all men when his valiant career was cut short. Now, for the first time 
since the conquest, Athens was governed by a Greek, for Guy's mother, 
Helene Angela of Neopatras, who has given her title to K. Rhanghaves' 
drama, The Duchess of Athens, acted as regent for her infant son, 
Guy, until a second marriage with her late husband's brother-in-law, 
Hugh de Brienne, provided him with a more powerful guardian. The 
family of Brienne was one of the most famous of that day. First heard 
of in Champagne during the reign of Hugh Capet, it had, in the thirteenth 
century, won an Imperial diadem at Constantinople, a royal crown at 
Jerusalem, and a count's coronet at Lecce and at Jaffa; ere long it was 
destined to provide the last French Duke of Athens. 

The Burgundian duchy of Athens had now reached its zenith; and 
the ceremony of Guy II's coming of age, which has been described for us 
in the picturesque Catalan chronicle of Muntaner, affords a striking proof 
of the splendour of the ducal Court at Thebes. The young duke had 
invited all the great men of his duchy; he had let it be known, too, 
throughout the Greek Empire and the Despotat of Epeiros and his 
mother's home of Thessaly, that whosoever came should receive gifts 
and favours from his hands, "for he was one of the noblest men in all 
Romania who was not a king, and eke one of the richest." When all the 
guests had assembled, Archbishop Nicholas of Thebes celebrated mass 
in the Theban minster; and then all eyes were fixed upon the Duke, to 
see whom he would ask to confer upon him the order of knighthood — 



THE DUKES OF ATHENS 117 

"a duty which the King of France, or the Emperor himself, would have 
thought it a pleasure and an honour to perform." What was the surprise 
of the brilliant throng when Guy, instead of calling upon such great 
nobles as Thomas of Salona or Othon of St Omer, co-owner with himself 
of Thebes, called to his side a young Eubcean knight, Boniface of Verona, 
lord of but a single castle, which he had sold the better to equip himself 
and his retinue. Yet no one made a braver show at the Theban Court ; 
he always wore the richest clothes, and on the day of the ceremony none 
was more elegantly dressed than he, though every one had attired 
himself and his jongleurs in the fairest apparel. This was the man whom 
the young duke bade dub him a knight, and upon whom, as a reward for 
this service, he bestowed the hand of a fair damsel of Eubcea, Agnes de 
Cicon, Lady of the classic island of iEgina and of the great Eubcean 
castle of Karystos or Castel Rosso, still a picturesque ruin. The duke 
gave him also thirteen castles on the mainland and the famous island of 
Salamis — sufficient to bring him in a revenue of 50,000 sols. 

Prosperous indeed must have been the state whose ruler could afford 
such splendid generosity. Worthy too of such a sovereign was the castle 
in which he dwelt — the work of the great Theban baron, Nicholas II de 
St Omer, who had built it out of the vast wealth of his wife, Marie of 
Antioch. The castle of St Omer, which was described as "the finest 
baronial mansion in all Romania 1 ," contained sufficient rooms for an 
emperor and his court; and its walls were decorated with frescoes 
illustrating the conquest of the Holy Land by the Franks, in which 
the ancestors of its founder had borne a prominent part. Alas ! one 
stumpy tower, still bearing the name of Santameri, is all that now 
remains of this noble residence of the Athenian dukes and the Theban 
barons. 

French influence now spread from Thebes over the great plain of 
Thessaly to the slopes of Olympos. The Duke of Neopatras died, leaving 
his nephew of Athens guardian of his infant son and regent of his 
dominions, threatened alike by the Greek Emperor, Andronikos II, and 
by the able and ambitious Lady of Epeiros. At Lamia, the fortress which 
had been part of his mother's dowry, Guy received the homage of the 
Thessalian baronage, and appointed as his viceroy Antoine le Flamenc, 
a Fleming who had become lord of the Boeotian Karditza (where a Greek 
inscription on the church of St George still commemorates him as its 
"most pious" founder), and who is described as "the wisest man in all 
the duchy." The Greek nobles of Thessaly learnt the French language; 

1 Tb Xpovucbv rod Moptws, 11. 8071-8092. 



n8 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

coins with Latin inscriptions were issued in the name of Guy's young 
ward from the mint of Neopatras 1 ; and the condition of Thessaly was 
accurately depicted in that curious story the Romance of Achilles, in 
which the Greek hero marries a French damsel and the introduction of 
French customs is allegorically represented by cutting the child's hair in 
Frankish fashion 2 . 

Wherever there was knightly work to be done, the gallant Duke of 
Athens was foremost; none was more impetuous than he at the great 
tournament held on the Isthmus of Corinth in 1305, at which the whole 
chivalry of Frankish Greece was present. He needs must challenge 
Master Bouchart, one of the best jousters of the West, to single combat 
with the lance; and their horses met with such force that the ducal 
charger fell and rolled its rider in the dust. His Theban castle rang with 
the songs of minstrels; festival after festival followed at his Court; and 
this prosperity was not merely on the surface. Now for the first time we 
find Attica supplying Eubcea with corn, while the gift of silken garments 
to Pope Boniface VIII is a proof of the continued manufacture of silk 
at Thebes. But the duke's health was undermined by an incurable 
malady; he had no heirs of his body; and, when he died in 1308, there 
was already looming on the frontiers of Greece that Grand Company of 
Catalan soldiers of fortune whom the weakness of the Emperor, An- 
dronikos II, had invited from the stricken fields of Sicily to be the terror 
and the scourge of the Levant. The last duke of the house of la Roche 
was laid to rest in the noble Byzantine abbey of Daphni or Dalfinet (as 
the Franks called it), on the Sacred Way between Athens and Eleusis, 
which Othon had bestowed upon the Cistercians a century before. Even 
to-day there may be seen in the courtyard a sarcophagus, with a cross, 
two snakes, and two lilies carved upon it, which the French scholar 
Buchon (La Grece continentale) believed to have been the tomb of " the 
good duke," Guy II. 

The succession to the "delectable duchy" of Athens — for such, 
indeed, it was in the early years of the fourteenth century — was not 
seriously disputed. There were only two claimants, both first cousins of 
the late duke — Eschive, Lady of Beyrout, and Walter de Brienne, Count 
of Lecce, a true scion of that adventurous family, who had been a 
"knight of death" in the Angevin cause in Sicily, and had fought like 
the Hon on his banner at the fatal battle of Gagliano. The rival claims 
having been referred to the High Court of Achaia, of which the Duke of 
Athens was, in Angevin times, a peer, the barons decided, as was 

1 Schlumberger, Numismatique de I'Orient latin, p. 382. 

2 Sathas in Annuaire des itudes grecques, vol. xin. 122-133. 






THE DUKES OF ATHENS 119 

natural, in favour of the gallant and powerful Count of Lecce, more fitted 
than a lonely widow to govern a military state. Unfortunately, Duke 
Walter of Athens was as rash as he was brave; prison and defeat in 
Sicily had not taught him to respect the infantry of Catalufia. Speaking 
their language and knowing their ways, he thought that he might use 
them for his own ends and then dismiss them when they had served his 
purpose. 

In the spring of 1309 the Catalan Grand Company threatened by 
starvation in Macedonia, marched through the vale of Tempe into the 
granary of Greece, whence, a year later, they descended upon Lamia. 
The Duke of Neopatras had now come of age, and had not only emanci- 
pated himself from Athenian tutelage, but had formed a triple alliance 
with the Greek Emperor and the Greek Despot of Epeiros in order to 
prevent the ultimate annexation of his country by his French neighbours. 
In these circumstances the new Duke of Athens bethought himself of 
employing the wandering Catalans against the allies. Thanks to the good 
offices of Roger Deslaur, a knight of Roussillon who was in his employ, 
he engaged them at the same high rate of payment which they had 
received from Andronikos II. The Catalans at once showed that they 
were well worth the money, for by the end of a six months' campaign 
they had captured more than thirty castles for their employer. There- 
upon his three adversaries hastened to make peace with him on his own 
terms. 

Walter now rashly resolved to rid himself of the expensive mer- 
cenaries for whom he had no further use. He first selected 500 men from 
their ranks, gave them their pay and lands on which to settle, and then 
abruptly bade the others begone, although at the time he still owed them 
four months' wages. They naturally declined to obey this summary 
order, and prepared to conquer or die; for retreat was impossible, and 
there was no other land where they could seek their fortune. Walter, 
too, assembled all available troops against the common enemies of 
Frankish Greece — for as such the savage Catalans were regarded. Never 
had a Latin army made such a brave show as that which was drawn up 
under his command in the spring of 131 1 on the great Boeotian plain, 
almost on the self-same spot where, more than sixteen centuries before, 
Philip of Macedon had won that "dishonest victory" which destroyed 
the freedom of classic Greece, and where, in the time of Sulla, her Roman 
masters had thrice met the Pontic troops of Mithridates. All the great 
feudatories of Greece rallied to his call. There came Alberto Pallavicini, 
Marquess of Boudonitza, who kept the pass of Thermopylae ; Thomas de 
Stromoncourt of Salona, who ruled over the slopes of Parnassos, and 



120 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

whose noble castle still preserves the memory of its mediaeval lords; 
Boniface of Verona, the favourite of the late Duke of Athens; George 
Ghisi, one of the three great barons of Euboea; and Jean de Maisy, 
another powerful magnate of that famous island. From Achaia, and 
from the scattered duchy of the Archipelago, contingents arrived to do 
battle against the desperate mercenaries of Cataluna. Already Walter 
dreamed of not merely routing the company, but of planting his lion 
banner on the ramparts of Byzantium. 

But the Catalans were better strategists than the impetuous Duke 
of Athens. They knew that the strength of the Franks lay in the rush 
of their splendid cavalry, and they laid their plans accordingly. The 
marshy soil of the Copaic basin afforded them an excellent defence 
against a charge of horsemen; and they carefully prepared the ground 
by ploughing it up, digging a trench round it, and then irrigating the 
whole area by means of canals from the river Kephissos. By the middle 
of March, when the two armies met face to face, a treacherous covering 
of green grass concealed the quaking bog from the gaze of the Frankish 
leaders. 

As if he had some presentiment of his coming death, Walter made his 
will — a curious document still preserved 1 — and then, on March 15, took 
up his stand on the hill called the Thourion, still surmounted by a 
mediaeval tower, to survey the field. Before the battle began, the 500 
favoured Catalans whom he had retained came to him and told him that 
they would rather die than fight against their old comrades. The duke 
bade them do as they pleased ; and their defection added a welcome and 
experienced contingent to the enemy's forces. When they had gone, the 
duke, impatient for the fray, placed himself at the head of 200 French 
knights with golden spurs and charged with a shout across the plain. 
But, when they reached the fatal spot where the grass was greenest, 
their horses, heavily weighted with their coats of mail, plunged all 
unsuspecting into the treacherous morass. Some rolled over with their 
armoured riders in the mire; others, stuck fast in the stiff bog, stood 
still, in the picturesque phrase of the Byzantine historian, "like eques- 
trian statues," powerless to move. The shouts of "Aragon! Aragon!" 
from the Catalans increased the panic of the horses ; showers of arrows 
hailed upon the helpless Franks; and the Turkish auxiliaries of the 
Catalans rushed forward and completed the deadly work. So great was 
the slaughter that only four Frankish nobles are known to have survived 
that fatal day — Boniface of Verona, Roger Deslaur, the eldest son of 

1 D'Arbois de Jubainville, Voyage paldographique dans le ddpartement de I'Aube, 
PP- 332-340- 



THE DUKES OF ATHENS 121 

the Duke of Naxos, and Jean de Maisy of Euboea 1 . At one blow the 
Catalans had destroyed the noble chivalry of Frankish Greece ; and the 
men, whose forefathers had marched with Boniface of Montferrat into 
Greece a century earlier, lay dead in the fatal Boeotian swamp. Among 
them was the Duke of Athens, whose head, severed by a Catalan knife, 
was borne, long afterwards, on a funeral galley to Brindisi and buried in 
the church of Santa Croce in his Italian county of Lecce. 

The Athenian duchy, "the pleasaunce of the Latins," as Villani 2 
quaintly calls it, now lay at the mercy of the Grand Company ; for the 
Greeks made no resistance to their new masters, and in fact looked upon 
the annihilation of the Franks as a welcome relief. We would fain believe 
the story of the Aragonese Chronicle of the Morea, that the heroic 
widow of the fallen duke, a worthy daughter of a Constable of France, 
defended the Akropolis, where she had taken refuge with her little son 
Walter, till she saw that there was no hope of succour. But the Byzantine 
historian, Nikephoros Gregoras, expressly says that Athens fell without 
a struggle, as Thebes had already fallen. Argos and Nauplia alone held 
aloft the banner of the Frankish dukes. Thus the Catalans were able, 
without opposition, to parcel out among themselves the towns and 
castles of the duchy; the widows of the slain became the wives of the 
slayers; each soldier received a consort according to his services; and 
many a rough warrior thus found himself the husband of some noble 
dame in whose veins flowed the bluest blood of France, and "whose 
washhand-basin," in the phrase of Muntaner, "he was not worthy to 
bear." 

After nine years' wandering these vagabonds settled down in the 
promised land, which the most extraordinary fate had bestowed upon 
them. But they lacked a leader of sufficient social position to preside 
over their changed destinies. Finding no such man in their own ranks, 
they offered the post to one of their four noble prisoners, Boniface of 
Verona, whom Muntaner, his guest at Negroponte, has described as " the 
wisest and most courteous nobleman that was ever born." Both of 
these qualities made him disinclined to accept an offer which would have 
rendered him an object of suspicion to Venice, his neighbour in Euboea, 
and of loathing to the whole Frankish world. On his refusal the Catalans 
turned to Roger Deslaur, whom neither ties of blood nor scruples of 
conscience prevented from becoming their leader. As his reward he 
received the castle of Salona together with the widow of its fallen lord. 

1 Muntaner, ch. 240; Thomas, Diplomatarium, 1. 111; Predelli, Commemoriali, 
I. 198. 

2 Hist, de' suoi Tempi, viii. 50. 



122 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

But the victors of the Kephissos soon recognised that they needed 
some more powerful head than a simple knight of Roussillon, if they were 
to hold the duchy against the jealous enemies whom their meteoric 
success had alarmed and excited. Their choice naturally fell upon King 
Frederick II of Sicily, the master whom they had served in that island 
ten years earlier, and who had already shown that he was not unwilling 
to profit by their achievements. Accordingly, in 1312, they invited him 
to send them one of his children. He gave them as their duke his second 
son Manfred, in whose name — as the Duke was still too young to come 
himself — he sent, as governor of Athens, Beranger Estafiol, a knight of 
Ampurias. On his arrival Deslaur laid down his office, and we hear of 
him no more. 

The Catalan duchy of Athens was now organised as a state, which, 
though dependent in name on a Sicilian duke, really enjoyed a large 
measure of independence. The duke nominated the two chief officials, 
the vicar-general and the marshal, of whom the former, appointed 
during good pleasure, was the political, the latter the military, governor 
of the duchy. The marshal was always chosen from the ranks of the 
Company; and the office was for half a century hereditary in the family 
of De Novelles. Each city and district had its own local governor, called 
veguer, castellano, or capitdn, whose term of office was fixed at three 
years, and who was nominated by the duke, by the vicar-general, or by 
the local representatives from among the citizens of the community. 
Tlje principal towns and villages were represented by persons known as 
sindici, and possessed municipal officials and councils, which did not 
hesitate to present petitions, signed with the seal of St George by the 
chancellor, to the duke whenever they desired the redress of grievances. 
On one occasion we find the communities actually electing the vicar- 
general; and the dukes frequently wrote to them about affairs of state. 
One of their principal subsequent demands was that official posts should 
be bestowed upon residents in the duchy, not upon Sicilians. 

The feudal system continued to exist, but with far less brilliance than 
under the Burgundian dukes. The Catalan conquerors were of common 
origin; and, even after seventy years of residence, the roll of noble 
families in the whole duchy contained only some sixteen names. The 
Company particularly objected to the bestowal of strong fortresses, such 
as Livadia, upon private individuals, preferring that they should be 
administered by the government officials. The "Customs of Barcelona" 
now supplanted the feudal " Assizes of Romania " ; the Catalan idiom of 
Muntaner took the place of the elegant French which had been spoken 
by the Frankish rulers of Greece. Even to their Greek subjects the 



THE DUKES OF ATHENS 123 

Spanish dukes wrote in " the Catalan dialect," the employment of which, 
as we are expressly told, was "according to the custom and usage of 
the city of Athens." Alike by Catalans and French, the Greeks were 
treated as an inferior race, excluded, as a general rule, from all civic 
rights, forbidden to intermarry with the conquerors, and still deprived 
of their higher ecclesiastical functionaries. But there were some notable 
exceptions to these harsh disqualifications. The people of Livadia, for 
services rendered to the Company, early received the full franchise of 
the Conquistadors; towards the end of the Catalan domination we find 
Greeks holding such important posts as those of castellano of Salona, 
chancellor of Athens, and notary of Livadia; a count of Salona and a 
marshal married Greek ladies; and their wives were allowed to retain 
their own faith. 

Under the rule of Estanol the Catalans not only held their ground 
in Attica and Bceotia, but increased the terror of their name among all 
their neighbours. In vain the Pope appealed to King James II of Aragon 
to drive them out of Attica ; in vain he described the late Duke Walter as 
a "true athlete of Christ and faithful boxer of the Church"; the king's 
politic reply was to the effect that the Catalans, if they were cruel, were 
also Catholics, who would prove a valuable bulwark of Romanism 
against the schismatic Greeks of Byzantium 1 . The appointment of King 
Frederick IFs natural son, Don Alfonso Fadrique (or Frederick), as 
"President of the fortunate army of Franks in the Duchy of Athens" 
yet further strengthened the position of the Company. The new vicar- 
general was a man of much energy and force of character; and during 
his thirteen years' administration the Catalan state attained its zenith. 
Practically independent of Sicilian influence — for the nominal Duke 
Manfred died in the year of Fadrique's appointment, and his younger 
brother William was likewise a minor — he acquired a stronger hold upon 
Attica, and at the same time a pretext for intervention in the affairs 
of Eubcea, by his marriage with Manilla, the heiress of Boniface of 
Verona, "one of the fairest Christians in the world, the best woman and 
the wisest that ever was in that land," as Muntaner, who knew her, 
enthusiastically describes her. With her Fadrique received back, as her 
dowry, the thirteen castles which Guy II of Athens had bestowed upon 
her father on that memorable day at Thebes. 

The growing power of the Catalans under this daring leader, who had 

marched across "the black bridge" of Negroponte and had occupied 

two of the most important castles of the island, so greatly alarmed the 

Venetians that they persuaded King Frederick II of Sicily to curb the 

1 Raynaldi, Annates ecclesiastici , v. 22, 23. 



124 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

restless ambition of his bastard son, lest a European coalition should be 
formed against the disturber of Greece. Above all else, the Republic 
was anxious that a Catalan navy should not be formed at the Piraeus ; 
and it was therefore stipulated, in 13 19, that a plank was to be taken out 
of the hull of each of the Catalan vessels then lying in " the sea of Athens," 
and that the ships' tackle was to be taken up to "the Castle of Athens" 
and there deposited 1 . Thus shut out from naval enterprise, Fadrique 
now extended his dominions by land. The last Duke of Neopatras had 
died in 1318, and the best part of his duchy soon fell into the hands of 
the Catalans of Athens, who might claim that they represented the 
Burgundian dukes, and were therefore entitled to some voice in the 
government of a land which Guy II had once administered. At Neopatras, 
the seat of the extinct Greek dj^nasty of the Angeloi, Fadrique made his 
second capital, styling himself "Vicar-General of the duchies of Athens 
and Neopatras." Thenceforth the Sicilian dukes of Athens assumed the 
double title which figures on their coins and in their documents; and, 
long after the Catalan duchies had passed away, the Kings of Aragon 
continued to bear it. This conquest made the Company master of 
practically all continental Greece; even the Venetian Marquess of 
Boudonitza paid an annual tribute of four horses to the Catalan vicar- 
general 2 . Still, however, the faithful family of Foucherolles held the two 
great fortresses of Argos and Nauplia for the exiled house of Brienne. 

Young Walter had now grown up to man's estate, and it seemed to 
him that the time had come to strike a blow for the recovery of his 
Athenian heritage. The Angevins of Naples supported him in their own 
interest as well as his; Pope John XXII bade the Archbishops of Patras 
and Corinth preach a crusade against the " schismatics, sons of perdition, 
and pupils of iniquity" who had seized his patrimony; but the subtle 
Venetians, who could have contributed more than Angevin aid or papal 
thunder to the success of his expedition, had just renewed their truce 
with the Catalans. From that moment his attempt was bound to fail. 

Walter was, like his father, a rash general, while his opponents had 
not forgotten the art of strategy, to which they owed their success. At 
first the brilliant band of French knights and Tuscan men-at-arms which 
crossed over with him to Epeiros in 1331 carried all before it. But, when 
he arrived in the Catalan duchy, he found that the enemy was much too 
cautious to give his fine cavalry a chance of displaying its prowess on the 
plains of Bceotia. While, the Catalans remained behind the walls of their 
fortresses, the invaders wasted their energies on the open country. Ere 

1 Thomas, Diplomatarium, 1. 120-122. 

2 £urita, Anales de la Corona de Aragon, bk. x. ch. 30. 



THE DUKES OF ATHENS 125 

long Walter's small stock of money ran out, and his chances diminished 
with it. The Greeks rendered him no assistance. It is true that a corres- 
pondent of the historian Nikephoros Gregoras wrote that they were 
"suffering under extreme slavery," and had "exchanged their ancient 
happiness for boorish ways," while Guillaume Adam said that they were 
"worse than serfs " ; but either their sufferings were insufficient to make 
them desire a change of masters, or their boorishness was such that it 
made them indifferent to the advantages of French culture. Early in the 
following year Walter took ship for Italy, never to return. Summoned by 
the Florentines to command their forces, he became tyrant of their city, 
whence he was expelled amidst universal rej oicings eleven years later. His 
name and arms may still be seen in the Bargello of Florence. Thirteen 
years afterwards he fell fighting, as Constable of France, against the 
English at the battle of Poitiers. His sister Isabelle, wife of Walter 
d'Enghien, succeeded to his estates and his pretensions; some of her 
descendants continued to bear, till 1381, the empty title of Duke of 
Athens, while the last fragments of the French duchy — the castles of 
Nauplia and Argos — remained in the possession of others of her line till, 
in 1388, they were purchased by Venice. 

One irreparable loss was inflicted upon Greece by this expedition. 
In order to prevent the castle of St Omer at Thebes from falling into his 
hands, the Catalans destroyed that noble monument of Frankish rule. 
Loudly does the Chronicle of the Morea lament over the loss of a building 
more closely associated than any other with the past glories of the De la 
Roche. At the time of its destruction it belonged to Bartolommeo 
Ghisi, Great Constable of Achaia, one of the three great barons of Euboea, 
son-in-law of Fadrique, and a man of literary and historic tastes, for the 
French version of the Chronicle, Le Livre de la Conqueste, was originally 
found in his Theban castle 1 . Had Fadrique still been head of the 
Company at the time, he would probably have saved his kinsman's 
home ; but for some unexplained reason he was no longer vicar-general, 
though he was still in Greece. Possibly, as he paid a visit to Sicily about 
this time, he may have been accused at the Sicilian Court of aiming at 
independent sovereignty in the duchies — an accusation to which his too 
successful career may have lent some colour. Though he never resumed 
the leadership of the Catalans he passed the rest of his life in Greece, 
where one of his sons was Count of Salona, and another became, later on, 
vicar-general of the duchies. 

Soon after Walter's futile expedition the Papacy made its peace with 
the "sons of perdition," who came to be regarded as a possible defence 

1 To XpoviKbv tov Mopius, 11. 8086-8092; Le Livre de la Conqueste, pp. 1, 274. 



126 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

against the growing Turkish peril. Unfortunately, when the Catalans 
became respectable members of Christendom, they ceased to be formid- 
able. Occasionally the old Adam broke out, as when the Count of Salona 
plied the trade of a pirate with the aid of the " unspeakable " Turk. But 
their Thessalian conquests were slipping away from the luxurious and 
drunken progeny of the hardy warriors who had smitten the Franks in 
the marshes of the Kephissos. Meanwhile, in distant Sicily, the shadowy 
Dukes of Athens and Neopatras came and went without ever seeing their 
Greek duchies. Duke William died in 1338 ; and his successors, John and 
Frederick of Randazzo, the picturesque town on the slopes of Etna, both 
succumbed to the plague a few years later — mere names in the history 
of Athens. But in 1355 the new Duke of Athens became also King of 
Sicily, under the title of Frederick III; and thus the two duchies, which 
had hitherto been the appanage of younger members of the royal family, 
were united with the Sicilian crown in the person of its holder. 

Thenceforth, as is natural, the archives of Palermo contain far more 
frequent allusions to the duchies of Athens and Neopatras, whose in- 
habitants petition their royal duke for redress of grievances and for the 
appointment of suitable officials. But it is evident from the tenour of 
these documents that the Catalan state was rapidly declining. In 
addition to the Turkish peril and the menaces of the Venetians of Negro- 
ponte, the once united soldiers of fortune were divided into factions, 
which paralysed the central authority, and were aggravated by the 
prolonged absence of the vicar-general in Sicily. One party wished to 
place the duchies under the protection of Genoa, the natural enemy of 
Venice, while two bitter rivals, Roger de Lluria and Pedro de Pou, or 
Petrus de Puteo, the chief justice, an unjust judge and a grasping and 
ambitious official, both claimed the title of vicar of the absent vicar- 
general. Pou's tyranny became so odious to Catalans and Greeks alike 
that the former rose against him and slew him and his chief adherents. 
The experiment of allowing the vicar-general as well as the duke to 
remain an absentee had thus proved to be a failure; Lluria, as the 
strongest man on the spot, was rewarded with the office of vicar-general 
as the sole means of keeping the duchies intact. So vulnerable did the 
Catalan state appear that the representatives of Walter of Brienne, the 
Baron of Argos and the Count of Conversano, renewed the attempt of 
their predecessor and, if we may believe the Aragonese Chronicle of the 
Morea, actually occupied for a time the city of Athens. 

The fast approaching Turkish danger ought to have united all the 
Latin states of the Levant against the common foe, to whom they all even- 
tually succumbed. An attempt at union was made by Pope Gregory XI, 



THE DUKES OF ATHENS 127 

at the instance of the Archbishop of Neopatras; and a congress 
of the Christian rulers of the East was convened by him to meet at 
Thebes in 1373. We can well imagine how the ancient city, the capital 
of the Athenian duchy, was enlivened by the arrival of these more or less 
eminent persons, or their envoys ; how the Archbishops of Neopatras and 
Naxos preached a new crusade against the infidel in the church of Our 
Lady; how every one applauded their excellent advice; and how personal 
jealousies marred the results of that, as of every subsequent congress on 
the Eastern question. Scarcely had the delegates separated, when Nerio 
Acciajuoli, Baron of Corinth, the boldest and astutest of them all, a 
worthy scion of that great Florentine family of bankers established for 
a generation in the principality of Achaia showed his appreciation of the 
value of unity by seizing Megara as the first step on the way to Athens. 
It is an interesting proof of the popularity of Catalan rule among those 
Greeks, at any rate, who held office under the Company, that one of the 
warmest defenders of Megara was a Greek notary, Demetrios Rendi, who 
afterwards rose to a position of importance at Athens. Such was the 
weakness of the once terrible Catalan state that the upstart Florentine's 
attack remained unavenged. The fall of Catalan rule was now only a 
question of time. 

The death of the royal Duke of Athens and Neopatras, Frederick III, 
in 1377, yet further injured his Greek duchies. The duke had bequeathed 
them to his young daughter Maria; but the succession was disputed by 
King Pedro IV of Aragon, brother-in-law of Frederick III, who appealed 
to the principle of the Salic law as laid down by that monarch's prede- 
cessor, Frederick II. The Catalans of Attica were naturally disinclined 
to accept the government of a young girl at so critical a moment, when 
the Turk was at their gates. All the three archbishops and the principal 
barons and knights at once declared for the King of Aragon; but there 
was a minority in favour of Maria, headed by the Venetian Marquess of 
Boudonitza, who was eager to shake off the bond of vassalage to the 
vicar-general. The burgesses, anxious for security, supported the Ara- 
gonese party. At this moment, however, a third competitor appeared in 
the duchies in the shape of the Navarrese Company, which sought to 
repeat the exploits of the Catalans seventy years before. The researches 
of the learned historian of the Catalans and Navarrese, Don Antonio 
Rubio y Lluch, have thrown a flood of light upon this portion of the 
Athenian annals, and have explained much that was hitherto obscure. 
Employed originally by King Charles II of Navarre in his struggle with 
Charles V of France, the Navarrese mercenaries had found their occupa- 
tion gone when those two rival sovereigns made peace in 1366. After 



128 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

many vicissitudes they found congenial service, fourteen years later, 
under the banner of Jacques de Baux, Prince of Achaia and the last 
titular Emperor of Constantinople, who thought the moment had come 
to recover his ancestors' dominions. 

Accordingly, early in 1380, they directed their steps towards Attica, 
under the command of Mahiot de Coquerel, chamberlain of the King of 
Navarre, and Pedro de Superan, surnamed Bordo, or the bastard 1 . 
These experienced leaders found valuable assistance in the chiefs of the 
Sicilian party ; in the knights of St John who sallied forth from the Morea 
to pillage the distracted duchy; in the Count of Conversano, who seems 
to have now made a second attempt to regain his ancestors' heritage ; 
and in the mutual jealousies of Thebes and Athens, fomented by the 
characteristic desire of the Athenians to be independent of Theban 
supremacy. In Bceotia, one place after another fell before the adventurers 
from Navarre; the noble castle of Livadia, which still preserves the 
memory of its Catalan masters, was betrayed by a Greek from Durazzo ; 
and the capital was surrendered by two Spanish traitors. But the 
fortress of Salona defied their assaults ; and the Akropolis, thanks to the 
bravery of its governor, Romeo de Bellarbe, and to the loyalty of the 
ever useful notary, Demetrios Rendi, baffled the machinations of a little 
band of malcontents. These severe checks broke the force of the soldiers 
of Navarre; their appearance in Greece had alarmed all the petty 
potentates of the Morea and the islands ; and they withdrew to Bceotia, 
whence, some two years later, they were finally dislodged. Thence they 
proceeded to the Morea, where they carved out a principality, nominally 
for Jacques de Baux, really for themselves. 

The people of Athens and Salona, whose loyalty to the crown of 
Aragon had saved the duchies, were well aware of the value of their 
services, and were resolved to have their reward. Both communities 
accordingly presented petitions to King Pedro; and these capitulations, 
drawn up in the Catalan language, have fortunately been preserved in 
the archives of Barcelona. Both the Athenian capitulations and those of 
Salona are largely concerned with personal questions — requests that 
this or that faithful person should receive privileges, lands, and honours, 
especially his Majesty's most loyal subject, the Greek, Demetrios Rendi. 
From the date of the Frankish conquest no member of the conquered 
race had ever risen to such eminence as this serviceable clerk, who now 
obtained broad acres, goods, and serfs in both Attica and Bceotia. But 

1 Rubi6 y Lluch, Los Navarros en Grecia, p. 309, n. 2; a much more probable 
explanation, derived from the word bort ("bastard"), than that of Ducange (note 
to Cinnamus, p. 392), who says that he was so called because our Black Prince had 
conferred on him the freedom of Bordeaux. 



THE DUKES OF ATHENS 129 

there were some clauses in the Athenian petition of a more general 
character. The Athenians begged the central authorities at Thebes for 
a continuance of their recently won independence, and for permission 
to bequeath their property and serfs to the Catholic Church. Both these 
prayers met with a blank refusal. King Pedro told the petitioners that 
he intended to treat the duchies as an indivisible whole, and that home- 
rule for Athens was quite out of the question. He also reminded them 
that the Catalans were only a small garrison in Greece, and that, if holy 
Church became possessed of their property, there would be no one left 
to defend the country. He also observed that there was no hardship 
in this, for the law of Athens was also that of his kingdoms of Majorca 
and Valencia. The soundness of his Majesty's statesmanship was obvious 
in the peculiar conditions of the Catalan state; but this demand shows 
the influence of the Church, an influence rarely found in the history of 
Frankish Greece. 

Of all the dukes who had held sway over Athens, Pedro IV was the 
first to express himself in enthusiastic terms about the Akropolis. The 
poetic monarch — himself a troubadour and a chronicler — described that 
sacred rock in eloquent language as " the most precious jewel that exists 
in the world, and such as all the kings of Christendom together would 
imitate in vain." He had doubtless heard from the lips of Bishop Boyl 
of Megara, who was chaplain in the chapel of St Bartholomew in the 
governor's palace on the Akropolis, a description of the ancient buildings, 
then almost uninjured, which the bishop knew so well. Yet he con- 
sidered twelve men-at-arms sufficient defence for the brightest jewel in 
his crown. 

Pedro now did his best to repair the ravages of the civil war; he 
ordered a general amnesty for all the inhabitants of the duchies, and 
showered rewards on faithful cities and individuals. Livadia, always a 
privileged town in the Catalan period, not only received a confirmation 
of its rights, but became the seat of the Order of St George in Greece, 
an honour due to the fact that the head of the saint was then preserved 
there. Most important of all for the future history of Greece, the king 
granted exemption from taxes for two years to all Albanians who would 
come and settle in the depleted duchies. This was the beginning of that 
Albanian colonisation of Attica of which so many traces remain in the 
population and the topography of the present day. 

But the Albanian colonists came too late to save the Catalan domina- 
tion. From the heights of Akrocorinth and from the twin hills of Megara, 
Nerio Acciajuoli, the Florentine upstart, had been attentively watching 
the rapid dissolution of the Catalan power. He saw a land weakened by 



130 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

civil war and foreign invasion; he knew that the titular duke was an 
absentee, engrossed with more important affairs; he found the ducal 
viceroys summoned away to Spain or Sicily, while the old families of the 
conquest were almost as extinct as the French whom they had displaced. 
He was a man of action, without scruples, without fear, and he resolved 
to strike. Hiring a galley from the Venetian arsenal at Candia, under 
pretext of sweeping Turkish corsairs from the two seas, he assembled a 
large force of cavalry, and sought an excuse for intervention. The pride 
of a noble dame was the occasion of the fall of Athens. Nerio asked the 
Dowager Countess of Salona to give her daughter's hand to his brother- 
in-law, Pietro Saraceno, scion of a Sienese family long settled in Eubcea. 
The Countess, in whose veins flowed the Imperial blood of the Canta- 
cuzenes, scornfully rejected the offer of the Florentine tradesman, and 
affianced her daughter to a Serbian princeling of Thessaly. Franks and 
Greeks at Salona were alike indignant at this alliance with a Slav; 
Nerio's horsemen invaded the county and the rest of the duchy, while 
his galley went straight for the Piraeus. In the absence of a guiding hand 
— for the vicar-general was away in Spain — the Catalans made no serious 
resistance ; only the Akropolis and a few other castles held out. In vain 
the King of Aragon despatched Pedro de Pau to take the command; 
that gallant officer, the last Catalan governor of the noblest fortress in 
Europe, defended the " Castle of Athens " for more than a twelvemonth, 
till, on May 2, 1388, it too surrendered to the Florentine. In vain, on 
April 22, as a last resource, it had been offered to the Countess of Salona, 
if she could save it 1 . The new King of Aragon in vain promised the 
Sindici of Athens to visit "so famous a portion of his realm," and 
announced that he was sending a fleet to "confound his enemies." We 
know not whether the fleet ever arrived; if it did, it was unsuccessful. 
The sovereigns of Aragon might gratify their vanity by appointing a 
titular vicar-general, or even a duke, of the duchies whose names they 
still included in their titles; once, indeed, the news of an expedition 
aroused alarm at Athens. But it proved to be merely the usual tall talk 
of the Catalans; the flag of Aragon never waved again from the ramparts 
of the Akropolis; the duchy passed to the Acciajuoli. 

The Catalan Grand Company disappeared from the face of Attica 
as rapidly as rain from its light soil. Like their Burgundian prede- 
cessors, these soldiers of fortune conquered but struck no root in the 
land. Some took ship for Sicily; some, like Ballester, the last Catalan 
Archbishop of Athens, are heard of in Cataluna; while others, among 
them the two branches of the Fadrique family, lingered on for a time, 
1 Rubi6 in Anuari de I'Institut (1907), 253. 



THE DUKES OF ATHENS 131 

the one at Salona, the other at JEgina., where we find their connections, 
the Catalan family of Caopena, ruling till 145 1 — a fact which explains 
the boast of a much later Catalan writer, Pefia y Farel, that his country- 
men maintained their "ancient splendour" in Greece till the middle of 
the fifteenth century. Thither the Catalans conveyed the head of St 
George, and thence it was removed to the Church of San Giorgio 
Maggiore at Venice, when the Venetians succeeded the Caopena as 
masters of JEgina.. Even to-day a noble family in Zante bears the name 
of Katalianos ; and in the island of Santorin are three f amilies of Spanish 
origin — those of Da Corogna, De Cigalla, and Delenda, to which last the 
recent Catholic Archbishop of Athens belonged. Besides the castles of 
Salona, Livadia, and Lamia, and the row of towers between Livadia and 
Thebes, the Catalans have left a memorial of their stay in Greece in the 
curious fresco of the Virgin and Child, now in the Christian Archaeological 
Museum at Athens, which came from the church of the Prophet Elias 
near the gate of the Agora. Unlike their predecessors, they minted no 
coins; unlike them, they had no ducal court in their midst to stimulate 
luxury and refinement. Yet even in the Athens of the Catalans there was 
some culture. A diligent Athenian priest copied medical works ; and we 
hear of the libraries belonging to the Catholic bishops of Salona and 
Megara. 

The Greeks long remembered with terror the Catalan domination. A 
Greek girl, in a mediaeval ballad, prays that her seducer may " fall into 
the hands of the Catalans"; even a generation ago the name of Catalan 
was used as a term of reproach in Attica and in Euboea, in Akarnania, 
Messenia, Lakonia, and at Tripolitsa. Yet, as we have seen, the Greeks 
did not raise a finger to assist a French restoration when they had the 
chance, while there are several instances of Greeks rendering valuable 
aid to the Catalans against the men of Navarre. Harsher they may have 
been than the French, but they probably gained their bad name before 
they settled down in Attica, and became more staid and more tolerant 
as they became respectable. In our own time they have found admirers 
and apologists among their own countrymen, who are justly proud of 
the fact that the most famous city in the world was for two generations 
governed by the sons of Cataluna. And in the history of Athens, where 
nothing can lack interest, they, too, are entitled to a place. 



9—2 



132 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

AUTHORITIES 

i. J Libri Commemoriali . Vols. I— VI. Ed. by R. Predelli. Venice: Reale 
Deputazione Veneta di Storia Patria, 1876-1903. 

2. Libro de las Fechos et Conquistas del Principado de la Morea. Ed. by 

A. Morel- Fatio. Geneva, 1885. 

3. La Espedicion y Domination de los Catalanes en Oriente; Los Navarros 

en Grecia. By D. Antonio Rubi6 y Lluch. Barcelona, 1887. 

4. Sul Dominio dei Ducati di Atene e Neopatria dei Re di Sicilia. By F. 

Guardione. Palermo, 1895. 

5. Chronik des Edlen En Ramon Muntaner. Ed. Karl Lanz. Stuttgart, 

1844. 

6. Ol Karakdvoi iv rfi "AvaroXji (The Catalans tn the East). By E. I. Sta- 

matiades. Athens, 1869. 

7. Diplomatarium Veneto-Levantinum. Ed. G. M. Thomas and R. Pre- 

delli. Venice, 1 880-1 899. 

8. De Histories Ducatus A theniensis Fontibus. By K. Hopf. 1852. 

9. Catalunya a Grecia. By D. Antonio Rubi6 y Lluch. Barcelona, 1906. 
IO. Eyy pacpa dvaipepofieva els rfjv fieaaiaviKtjv 'laropiav tcov 'AOijv&v (Documents 

relating to the Mediceval History of Athens). Ed. Sp. P. Lampros. 
Athens, 1906. 
And other works. 

APPENDIX 
THE FRANKISH INSCRIPTION AT KARDITZA 

To students of Frankish Greece the church at Karditza in Boeotia 
is one of the most interesting in the country, because it contains an 
inscription referring to an important Frankish personage, Antoine le 
Flamenc, and dating from the fatal year 131 1, which witnessed the over- 
throw of the Frankish Duchy of Athens in the swamps of the Boeotian 
Kephissos. Buchon had twice 1 published this inscription; but, as I was 
anxious to know in what condition it was and to have an exact facsimile 
of it, I asked Mr D. Steel, the manager of the Lake Copais Company, to 
have a fresh copy taken. Mr Steel kindly sent his Greek draughtsman to 
copy the inscription, and at the same time visited the church and took the 
photographs now published (Plate I, Figs. 1 and 2). Subsequently, in 1912, 
I visited the church with him and saw the inscription, which is painted 
on the plaster of the wall. Mr Steel informed me that, when he first saw 
the church about 1880, "the extension of the west end," clearly visible 
in the photographs, "had not yet been made, while at that end there 
existed a sort of verandah set on pieces of ancient columns." 

On comparing the present copy (Text-fig. 1) with Buchon's versions, 
it will be noticed that not only are there several differences of spelling, 
but that the French scholar omitted one important addition to the year 

1 La Grece continentale, 217; Recherches historiques, 1. 409. 



THE DUKES OF ATHENS 133 

at the end of the inscription — the indiction, which is rightly given as the 
9th. This is a further proof that the date of the inscription is 1311, which 
corresponds with both the year 6819 and the 9th indiction. As the battle 
of the Kephissos was fought on March 15th of that year, and as Antoine 

RNHmeHowo&Ken^ 

. r&opnoiramLCwe t rd^vnoemonv- iow&m #t*» 
y:\twiftWbtt wzomTttim mi 

0^eT&^0^H11I#eNn0AONMTT!POW0 , S^T^0(>&Vpew 

rSflvI^NOYlCeNIKOS&MOYf&POMONtlW TOWWTm 
<t>0NT0VOHN;iK e^NHOPNT^TONHKONT^TON 

Fig. 1. Inscription on the Church at Karditza. 

le Flamenc is known to have survived the terrible carnage of that day, 
we may surmise, as I have elsewhere suggested, that the work com- 
memorated in the inscription was "in pursuance of a vow made before 
he went into action." 

Antoine le Flamenc, whose ancestors had settled in the Holy Land, is 
several times mentioned during the first decade of the fourteenth century. 
The Livre de la Conquesie 1 states that Guy II, Duke of Athens, appointed 
him his "bailie and lieutenant" in Thessaly in 1303, and describes him 
as un des plus sages hommes de Romanie and le plus sage dou duchame. The 
same passage alludes also to Jean le Flamenc, his son, as receiving a post 
in Thessaly. Doubtless their experience of the Wallachs, who then, as 
now, wandered as winter approached from the Thessalian to the Boeotian 
Karditza, would specially commend these two distinguished men for 
such duties. Two years later we find Antoine as one of the witnesses of a 
deed 2 regarding the property of the Duchess of Athens, just come of age 
at Thebes, in her father's land of Hainault. On April 2nd, 1309, both 
Antoine and Jean were present at the engagement of the then widowed 
Duchess with Charles of Taranto at Thebes 3 . On the 23rd of a certain 
month (? September) of 1308, a Venetian document 4 alludes to the 
intention of Fiammengo Antonio, together with Guy II, Rocaforte, and 
Bonifacio da Verona, to tentar I'impresa di Negroponte — in other words, 
to make an attempt upon that Venetian colony. On August nth, 1309, 

1 Ibid., 1. 409-10. 2 St Genois, Droits pritnitifs . . .de Haynaut, 1. 337, 

8 Ibid., 1. 215. * MSlanges historiques: choix de Documents, III. 240 



134 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

another Venetian letter, this time addressed to Egregio militi Antonio 
Fiammengo, informs us that he had rented the property of Pietro Correr, 
an absent canon of Thebes, and bids him not to consign the rents to any 
but the rightful person. A second letter of the same day, addressed to 
the bailie and councillors of Negroponte, mentions him again in con- 
nection with this affair 1 . Finally, the list of Greek dignitaries, with whom 
the Republic was in correspondence, originally drawn up before the 
battle of the Kephissos and then corrected in 13 13, mentions Ser 
Antonius Flamengo miles 2 . As his name is not followed by the word 
decessit or mortuus, added to those who had fallen in the battle, he was 
one of the very few survivors. 

To these certain facts Hopf 3 added the assumption, based on no 
evidence, that he was the " Frank settled in the East," whom Isabella, 
Marchioness of Boudonitza, married, and who, in 1286, disputed the 
succession to that castle with her cousin. 

As Buchon's books are rare, I append his transcript of the inscrip- 
tion: 

ANHTEPOH O OYIHI KE TTNIETT- 

TOS NAOI TOY ITTOY METAAOAV 

rEHPriOY AHA ZINEPriAS KE 

TTOOOY TTOAAOY TOY OEHIEBESTATOY 

KABAAAPI MIZEP ANTONI 

AE <t>AAMA 

OAE TEAOZ HAI<t>EN TTOAHN MAPTYPHN 

OAE TEAOI EYPEN HZTOPHA AYTA 

TTAPA TEPMANOY IE- 

POMONAXOY KE KAOETOYMENOY 

KAI NIKOAEMOY IEPOMONAXOY 

TON AYTAAEA0HN TOY- 

Z ANAKENEIANTAI TON 

HKON TOYTON. 

+ ETI. rCOIO. + 

1 Lettere di Collegio (ed.'Giomo), p. 66. 

2 Hopf, Chvoniques gvico-romanes, 178. 

8 Idem, apud Ersch und Gruber, Allgemeine Encyklopadie, lxxxv. 321, 360. 
Cf. /. H. S. xxvni. 238. 



PLATE I 




Fig. i. The Church of St George at Karditza, looking towards the 

END, WHICH IS MODERN 




Fig. 2. The Church of St George at Karditza, showing old 

BELFRY AND BUTTRESSES SUPPORTING OLD PART OF THE BUILDING 



FLORENTINE ATHENS 135 

5. FLORENTINE ATHENS 

The history of mediaeval Athens is full of surprises. A Burgundian 
nobleman founding a dynasty in the ancient home of heroes and 
philosophers; a roving band of mercenaries from the westernmost 
peninsula of Europe destroying in a single day the brilliant French 
civilisation of a century; a Florentine upstart, armed with the modern 
weapons of finance, receiving the keys of the Akropolis from a gallant 
and chivalrous soldier of Spain — such are the tableaux which inaugurate 
the three epochs of her Frankish annals. In an earlier paper in the 
Quarterly Review (January 1907) we dealt with the French and the 
Catalan periods; we now propose to trace the third and last phase of 
Latin rule over the most famous of Greek cities. 

When, in the spring of 1388, Nerio Acciajuoli found himself master 
of "the Castle of Serines," as the Franks called the Akropolis, his first 
care was to conciliate the Greeks, who formed by far the largest part of 
his subjects, and who may have aided him to conquer the Athenian 
duchy. For the first time since the day, nearly two centuries before, 
when Akominatos had fled from his beloved cathedral to exile at Keos, 
a Greek Metropolitan of Athens was allowed to reside in his see, not, 
indeed, on the sacred rock itself, but beneath the shadow of the Areo- 
pagos. We may be sure that this remarkable concession was prompted, 
not by sentiment, but by policy, though the policy was perhaps mis- 
taken. The Greek hierarchy has in all ages been distinguished for its 
political character; and the presence of a high Greek ecclesiastic at 
"Athens at once provided his fellow-countrymen with a national leader 
against the rulers, whom they distrusted as foreigners and he hated as 
schismatics. He was ready to call in the aid of the Turks against his 
fellow-Christians, just as in modern Macedonia a Greek bishop abhorred 
the followers of the Bulgarian Exarch far more than those of the Prophet. 
Thus early in Florentine Athens were sown the seeds of the Turkish 
domination; thus, in the words of the Holy Synod, "the Athenian 
Church seemed to have recovered its ancient happiness such as it had 
enjoyed before the barbarian conquest 1 ." 

Nor was it the Church alone which profited by the change of dynasty. 
Greek for the first time became the official language of the Government ; 
Nerio and his accomplished daughter, the Countess of Cephalonia, used 
it in their public documents ; the Countess, the most masterful woman 
of the Latin Orient, proudly signed herself, in the cinnabar ink of 

1 Miklosich und Miiller, Acta et Diplomata Grceca Medii Azvi, n. 166. 



136 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

Byzantium, "Empress of the Romans"; even Florentines settled at 
Athens assumed the Greek translation of their surnames. Thus, a branch 
of the famous Medici family was transplanted to Athens, became 
completely Hellenised under the name of Iatros, and has left behind it 
a progeny which scarcely conceals, beneath that of Iatropoulos, its 
connection with the mediaeval rulers of Florence. There is even evidence 
that the "elders" of the Greek community were allowed a share in the 
municipal government of Florentine, no less than in that of Turkish, 
Athens. 

Hitherto the career of Nerio Acciajuoli had been one of unbroken 
success. His star had guided him from Florence to Akrocorinth, and 
from Akrocorinth to the Akropolis ; his two daughters, one famed as the 
most beautiful, the other as the most talented woman of her time, were 
married to the chief Greek and to the leading Latin potentate of Greece 
— to Theodore Palaiologos, Despot of Mistra, and to Carlo Tocco, the 
Neapolitan noble who ruled over the County Palatine of Cephalonia. 
These alliances seemed to guard him against every foe. He was now 
destined, however, to experience one of those sudden turns of fortune 
which were peculiarly characteristic of Frankish Greece. He was 
desirous of rounding off his dominions by the acquisition of the castles 
of Nauplia and Argos, which had been appendages of the French Duchy 
of Athens, but which, during the Catalan period, had remained loyal to 
the family of Brienne and to its heirs, the house of Enghien. In 1388, 
Marie d'Enghien, the Lady of Argos, left a young and helpless widow, 
had transferred her Argive estates to Venice, which thus began its long 
domination over the ancient kingdom of Agamemnon. But, before the 
Venetian commissioner had had time to take possession, Nerio had 
instigated his son-in-law, the Despot of Mistra, to seize Argos by a coup 
demain. For this act of treachery he paid dearly. It was not merely that 
the indignant Republic broke off all commercial relations between her 
colonies and Athens, but she also availed herself of the Navarrese 
Company, which was now established in the Morea, as the fitting 
instrument of her revenge. The Navarrese commander accordingly 
invited Nerio to a personal conference on the question of Argos ; and the 
shrewd Florentine, with a childlike simplicity remarkable in one who 
had lived so many years in the Levant, accepted the invitation, and 
deliberately placed himself in the power of his enemies. The opportunity 
was too good to be lost ; the law of nations was mere waste-paper to the 
men of Navarre; Nerio was arrested and imprisoned in a Peloponnesian 
prison. At once the whole Acciajuoli clan set to work to obtain the 
release of their distinguished relative; the Archbishop of Florence 



FLORENTINE ATHENS 137 

implored the intervention of the Pope; the Florentine Government 
offered the most liberal terms to Venice ; a message was despatched to 
Amedeo of Savoy; most efficacious of all, the aid of Genoa was invoked 
on behalf of one whose daughter was a Genoese citizen. Nerio was 
released; but his ransom was disastrous to Athens. In order to raise 
the requisite amount, he stripped the silver plates off the doors 
of the Parthenon and seized the gold, silver and precious stones 
which the piety of many generations had given to that venerable 
cathedral. 

Nerio was once more free, but he was not long allowed to remain 
undisturbed in his palace on the Akropolis. The Sicilian royal family 
now revived its claims to the Athenian duchy, and even nominated a 
phantom vicar-general 1 ; and, what was far more serious, the Turks, 
under the redoubtable Evrenos Beg, descended upon Attica. The over- 
throw of the Serbian Empire on the fatal field of Kossovo had now 
removed the last barrier between Greece and her future masters; and 
Bayezid, "the Thunderbolt," fell upon that unprotected land. The 
blow struck Nerio's neighbour, the Dowager Countess of Salona, the 
proud dame who had so scornfully rejected his suit nine years before. 
Ecclesiastical treachery and corruption sealed the fate of that ancient 
fief of the Stromoncourts, the Deslaurs, and the Fadriques, amid tragic 
surroundings, which a modern Greek drama has endeavoured to depict 2 . 
The Dowager Countess had allowed her paramour, a priest, to govern in 
her name ; and this petty tyrant had abused his power to wring money 
from the shepherds of Parnassos and to debauch the damsels of Delphi 
by his demoniacal incantations in the classic home of the supernatural. 
At last he cast his eyes on the fair daughter and full money-bags of the 
Greek bishop ; deprived of his child and fearing for his gold, the bishop 
roused his flock against the monster and begged the Sultan to occupy 
a land so well adapted for his Majesty's favourite pastimes of hunting 
and riding as is the plain at the foot of Parnassos. The Turks accepted 
the invitation ; the priest shut himself up in the noble castle, slew the 
bishop's daughter, and prepared to fight. But there was treachery among 
the garrison ; a man of Salona murdered the tyrant and offered his head 
to the Sultan; and the Dowager Countess and her daughter in vain 
endeavoured to appease the conqueror with gifts. Bayezid sent the 
young Countess to his harem ; her mother he handed over to the insults 
of his soldiery, her land he assigned to one of his lieutenants. Her 
memory still clings to the " pomegranate " cliff (poid) at Salona, whence, 

1 Lampros, "Eyyp^.<f>a (Documents), pp. 305, 324-27. 

* Lampros, '0 reXevrahs ic6fir)s tQv 2a\d>vuv (The Last Count of Salona). 



138 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

according to the local legend, repeated to the author on the spot, " the 
princess " was thrown. 

Nerio feared for his own dominions, whence the Greek Metropolitan 
had fled — so it was alleged — to the Turkish camp, and had promised the 
infidels the treasures of the Athenian Church in return for their aid. For 
the moment, however, the offer of tribute saved the Athenian duchy; 
but its ruler hastened to implore the aid of the Pope and of King 
Ladislaus of Naples against the enemies of Christendom, and at the 
same time sought formal recognition of his usurpation from that monarch, 
at whose predecessors' court the fortunes of his family had originated, 
and who still pretended to be the suzerain of Achaia, and therefore of its 
theoretical dependency, Athens. Ladislaus, nothing loth, in 1394 
rewarded the self-seeking Florentine for having recovered the Duchy 
of Athens "from certain of His Majesty's rivals," with the title of duke, 
with remainder — as Nerio had no legitimate sons — to his brother Donato 
and the latter's heirs. Cardinal Angelo Acciajuoli, another brother, was 
to invest the new duke with a golden ring; and it was expressly pro- 
vided that Athens should cease to be a vassal state of Achaia, but should 
thenceforth own no overlord save the King of Naples. The news that one 
of their clan had obtained the glorious title of Duke of Athens filled the 
Acciajuoli with pride — such was the fascination which the name of that 
city exercised in Italy. Boccaccio, half a century before, had familiarised 
his countrymen with a title which Walter of Brienne, the tyrant of 
Florence, had borne as of right, and which, as applied to Nerio Accia- 
juoli, was no empty flourish of the herald's college. 

The first Florentine Duke of Athens did not, however, long survive 
the realisation of his ambition. On September 25 of the same year he 
died, laden with honours, the type of a successful statesman. But, as he 
lay on his sick-bed at Corinth, the dying man seems to have perceived 
that he had founded his fortunes on the sand. Pope and King might 
give him honours and promises; they could not render effective aid 
against the Turks. It was under the shadow of this coming danger that 
Nerio drew up his remarkable will. 

His first care was for the Parthenon, Our Lady of Athens, in which 
he directed that his body should be laid to rest. He ordered its doors to 
be replated with silver, its stolen treasures to be bought up and restored 
to it ; he provided that, besides the twelve canons of the cathedral, there 
should be twenty priests to say masses for the repose of his soul; and he 
bequeathed to the Athenian minster, for their support and for the 
maintenance of its noble fabric, the city of Athens, with its dependencies, 
and all the brood-mares of his valuable stud. Seldom has a church 



FLORENTINE ATHENS 139 

received such a remarkable endowment ; the Cathedral of Monaco, built 
out of the earnings of a gaming-table, is perhaps the closest parallel to 
the Parthenon maintained by the profits of a stud-farm. Nerio made his 
favourite daughter, the Countess of Cephalonia, his principal heiress; 
to her he bequeathed his castles of Megara, Sikyon, and Corinth, while 
to his natural son, Antonio, he left the government of Thebes, Livadia, 
and all beyond it. To the bastard's mother, Maria Rendi, daughter of 
the ever-serviceable Greek notary who had been so prominent in the last 
years of the Catalan domination, and had retained his position under 
the new dynasty, her lover granted the full franchise, with the right to 
retain all her property, including, perhaps, the spot between Athens and 
the Piraeus which still preserves the name of her family. Finally, he 
recommended his land to the care of the Venetian Republic, which he 
begged to protect his heiress and to carry out his dispositions for the 
benefit of Our Lady of Athens. 

Donato Acciajuoli made no claim to succeed his brother in the Duchy 
of Athens. He was Gonfaloniere of Florence and Senator of Rome ; and 
he preferred those safe and dignified positions in Italy to the glamour of 
a ducal coronet in Greece, in spite of the natural desire of the family 
that one of their name should continue to take his title from Athens 1 . 
But it was obvious that a conflict would arise between the sons-in-law 
of the late duke, for Nerio had practically disinherited his elder daughter 
in favour of her younger but abler sister. Carlo Tocco of Cephalonia at 
once demanded the places bequeathed to his wife, occupied Megara 
and Corinth, and imprisoned the terrified executors in his island till they 
had signed a document stating that he had carried out the terms of his 
father-in-law's will. Theodore Palaiologos, who contended that Corinth 
had always been intended to be his after Nerio's death, besieged it with 
a large force, till Tocco, calling in a still larger Turkish army, drove his 
brother-in-law from the Isthmus 2 . 

Meanwhile, the Greeks of Athens had followed the same fatal policy 
of invoking the common enemy as arbiter of their affairs. It was not 
to be expected that the Greek race, which had of late recovered its 
national consciousness, and which had ever remained deeply attached 
to its religion, would quietly acquiesce in the extraordinary arrangement 
by which the city of Athens was made the property of the Catholic 
cathedral. The professional jealousy and the odium theologicum of the 
two great ecclesiastics, Makarios, the Greek Metropolitan, and Ludovico 
da Prato, the Latin archbishop, envenomed the feelings of the people. 

1 Gregorovius, Briefe, pp. 309, 310. 

2 "Nicolai de Marthono Liber," in Revue de I'Orient Latin, m. 657. 



140 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

The Greek divine summoned Timourtash, the Turkish commander, to 
rid Athens of the filioque clause; and his strange ally occupied the lower 
town. The castle, however, was bravely defended by Matteo de Montona, 
one of the late duke's executors, who despatched a messenger in hot 
haste to the Venetian colony of Negroponte, offering to hand over 
Athens to the Republic if the governor would promise in her name to 
respect the ancient franchises and customs of the Athenians. The bailie 
of Negroponte agreed, subject to the approval of the home Government, 
and sent a force which dispersed the Turks, and, at the close of 1394, 
for the first time in history, hoisted the lion-banner of the Evangelist 
on the ancient castle of Athens. 

The Republic decided, after mature consideration, to accept the offer 
of the Athenian commander. No sentimental argument, no classical 
memories, weighed with the sternly practical statesmen of the lagoons. 
The romantic King of Aragon had waxed enthusiastic over the glories 
of the Akropolis; and sixty years later the greatest of Turkish Sultans 
contemplated his conquest with admiration. But the sole reason which 
decided the Venetian Government to annex Athens was its proximity 
to the Venetian colonies, and the consequent danger which might ensue 
to them if it fell into Turkish or other hands. Thus Venice took over the 
Akropolis in 1395, not because it was a priceless monument, but because 
it was a strong fortress ; she saved the Athenians, not, as Caesar had done, 
for the sake of their ancestors, but for that of her own colonies, " the 
pupil of her eye." From the financial point of view, indeed, Athens could 
not have been a valuable asset. The Venetians confessed that they did 
not know what its revenues and expenses were ; and, pending a detailed 
report from their governor, they ordered that only eight priests should 
serve "in the Church of St Mary of Athens" — an act of economy due 
to the fact that some of Nerio's famous brood-mares had been stolen and 
the endowment of the cathedral consequently diminished. On such 
accidents did the maintenance of the Parthenon depend in the Middle 
Ages. 

We are fortunately in a better position than was the Venetian 
Government to judge of the contemporary state of Athens. At the very 
time when its fate was under discussion an Italian notary spent two days 
in that city; and his diary is the first account which any traveller has 
left us, from personal observation, of its condition during the Frankish 
period 1 . " The city," he says, " which nestles at the foot of the castle hill, 
contains about a thousand hearths " but not a single inn, so that, like 

1 The earlier fourteenth-century traveller, Ludolf von Suchem, who mentions 
Athens, did not actually visit it. 






FLORENTINE ATHENS 141 

the archaeologist in some country towns of modern Greece, he had to 
seek the hospitality of the clergy. He describes "the great hall" of the 
castle (the Propylaia), with its thirteen columns, and tells how the 
churchwardens personally conducted him over " the Church of St Mary," 
which had sixty columns without and eighty within. On one of the 
latter he was shown the cross made by Dionysios the Areopagite at the 
moment of the earthquake which attended our Lord's passion; four 
others, which surrounded the high altar, were of jasper and supported 
a dome, while the doors came — so he was told — from Troy. The pious 
Capuan was then taken to see the relics of the Athenian cathedral — the 
figure of the Virgin painted by St Luke, the head of St Makarios, a bone 
of St Denys of France, an arm of St Justin, and a copy of the Gospels 
written by the hand of St Elena — relics which the wife of King Pedro IV 
of Aragon had in vain begged the last Catalan archbishop to send her 
fifteen years before 1 . 

He saw, too, in a cleft of the wall, the light which never fails, and 
outside, beyond the castle ramparts, the two pillars of the choragic 
monument of Thrasyllos, between which there used to be "a certain 
idol" in an iron-bound niche, gifted with the strange power of drowning 
hostile ships as soon as they appeared on the horizon — an allusion to the 
story of the Gorgon's head, mentioned by Pausanias, which we find in 
later mediaeval accounts of Athens. In the city below he noticed numbers 
of fallen columns and fragments of marble; he alludes to the Stadion; 
and he visited the "house of Hadrian," as the temple of Olympian Zeus 
was popularly called. He completed his round by a pilgrimage to the so- 
called " Study of Aristotle, whence scholars drank to obtain wisdom " — 
the aqueduct, whose marble beams, commemorating the completion of 
Hadrian's work by Antoninus Pius, were then to be seen at the foot of 
Lykabettos, and, after serving in Turkish times as the lintel of the 
Boubounistra gate, now he, half buried by vegetation, in the palace 
garden. But the fear of the prowling Turks and the feud between Nerio's 
two sons-in-law rendered travelling in Attica difficult; the notary 
traversed the Sacred Way in fear of his life, and was not sorry to find 
himself in the castle of Corinth, though the houses in that city were few 
and mean, and the total population did not exceed fifty families. 

The Venetian Government next arranged for the future administra- 
tion of its new colony. The governor of Athens was styled podesta and 
captain, and was appointed for the usual term of two years at an annual 
salary of £70, out of which he had to keep a notary, an assistant, four 

1 AeXrlov r!)s 'IffropiKTJt icai 'T&OvoXoyiicrjs 'Eraipelat (Report of the Historical and 
Ethnological Society), v. 827. 



142 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

servants, two grooms, and four horses. Four months elapsed before a 
noble was found ambitious of residing in Athens on these terms, and of 
facing the difficult situation there. Attica was so poor that he had to ask 
his Government for a loan ; the Turkish corsairs infested the coast ; the 
Greek Metropolitan, though now under lock and key at Venice, still 
found means of communicating with his former allies. Turkish writers 
even boast — and a recently published document confirms their state- 
ment — that their army captured " the city of the sages " in 1397 ; and an 
Athenian dirge represented Athens mourning the enslavement of the 
husbandmen of her suburb of Sepolia, who will no longer be able to till 
the fields of Patesia. 

The Turkish invaders came and went ; but another and more obstinate 
enemy ever watched the little Venetian garrison on the Akropolis. The 
bastard Antonio Acciajuoli fretted within the walls of his Theban 
domain, and was resolved to conquer Athens, as his father had done 
before him. In vain did Venice, alarmed by the reports of her successive 
governors, raise the numbers of the garrison to fifty-six men ; in vain did 
she order money to be spent on the defences of the castle ; in vain did she 
attempt to pacify the discontented Athenians, who naturally preferred 
the rule of an Acciajuoli who was half a Greek to that of a Venetian noble. 
By the middle of 1402 Antonio was master of the lower city; it seemed 
that, unless relief came at once, he would plant his banner on the 
Akropolis. The Senate, at this news, ordered the bailie of Negroponte to 
offer a reward for the body of the bold bastard, alive or dead, to lay 
Thebes in ashes, and to save the castle of Athens. That obedient official 
set out at the head of six thousand men to execute the second of these 
injunctions, only to fall into an ambush which his cunning enemy had 
laid in the pass of Anephorites. Venice, now alarmed for the safety of 
her most valuable colony far more than for that of Athens, hastily sent 
commissioners to make peace. But Antonio calmly continued the siege 
of the Akropolis, till at last, seventeen months after his first appearance 
before the city, when the garrison had eaten the last horse, and had been 
reduced to devour the plants which grew on the castle rock, its gallant 
defenders, Vitturi and Montona, surrendered with the honours of war. 
The half-caste adventurer had beaten the great Republic. 

Venice attempted to recover by diplomacy what she had lost by 
arms. She possessed in Pietro Zeno, the baron of Andros, a diplomatist 
of unrivalled experience in the tortuous politics of the Levant. Both he 
and Antonio were well aware that the fate of Athens depended upon the 
Sultan ; and to his Court they both repaired, armed with those pecuniary 
arguments which have usually proved convincing to Turkish ministers. 



FLORENTINE ATHENS 143 

The diplomatic duel was lengthy; but at last the Venetian gained one of 
those paper victories so dear to ambassadors and so worthless to practical 
men. The Sultan promised to see that Athens was restored to the 
Republic, but he took no steps to perform his promise; while Antonio, 
backed by the Acciajuoli influence in Italy, by the Pope, and the King 
of Naples, held his ground. Venice wisely resigned herself to the loss of a 
colony which it would have been expensive to recover. To save appear- 
ances, Antonio was induced to become her vassal for " the land, castle, 
and place of Athens, in modern times called Sythines 1 ," sending every 
year, in token of his homage, a silk pallium from the Theban manu- 
factories to the church of St Mark — a condition which he was most 
remiss in fulfilling. 

The reign of Antonio Acciajuoli — the longest in the history of Athens 
save that of the recent King of the Hellenes — was a period of prosperity 
and comparative tranquillity for that city. While all around him 
principalities and powers were shaken to their foundations; while that 
ancient warden of the northern March of Athens, the Marquisate of 
Boudonitza, was swept away for ever; while Turkish armies invaded the 
Morea, and annexed the Albanian capital to the Sultan's empire; while 
the principality of Achaia disappeared from the map in the throes of a 
tardy Greek revival, the statesmanlike ruler of Athens skilfully guided 
the policy of his duchy. At times even his experienced diplomacy failed 
to avert the horrors of a Turkish raid ; on one occasion he was forced to 
join, as a Turkish vassal, in an invasion of the Morea. But, as a rule, the 
dreaded Mussulmans spared this half-Oriental, who was a past-master 
in the art of managing the Sultan's ministers. From the former masters 
of Athens, the Catalans and the Venetians, he had nothing to fear. Once, 
indeed, he received news that Alfonso V of Aragon, who never forgot to 
sign himself "Duke of Athens and Neopatras," intended to put one of 
his Catalan subjects into possession of those duchies. But Venice re- 
assured him with a shrewd remark that the Catalans usually made much 
ado about nothing. On her part the Republic was friendly to the man 
who had supplanted her. She gave Antonio permission, in case of 
danger, to send the valuable Acciajuoli stud — for, like his father, he was 
a good judge of horse-flesh — to the island of Euboea; and she ordered 
her bailie to "observe the ancient commercial treaties between the 
duchy and the island, which he would find in the chancery of Negro- 
ponte." But when he sought to lay the foundations of a navy, and 
strove to prevent the fruitful island of ^Egina, then the property of the 
Catalan family of Caopena, from falling into the hands of Venice, he met 
1 Predelli, Commemoriali , ill. 309. 



144 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

with a severe rebuff. To the Florentine Duke of Athens Mgina., as a 
Venetian colony, might well seem, as it had seemed to Aristotle, the 
"eyesore of the Piraeus." 

With his family's old home, Florence, Antonio maintained the 
closest relations. In 1422 a Florentine ambassador arrived in Athens 
with instructions to confer the freedom of the great Tuscan Common- 
wealth upon the Duke; to inform him that Florence, having now, by 
the destruction of Pisa and the purchase of Leghorn, become a maritime 
power, intended to embark in the Levant trade ; and to ask him, there- 
fore, for the benefit of the most-favoured-nation clause. Antonio gladly 
made all Florentine ships free of his harbours, and reduced the usual 
customs dues in favour of all Florentine merchants throughout his 
dominions. Visitors from Tuscany, when they landed at Riva d'Ostia, 
on the Gulf of Corinth, must, indeed, have felt themselves in the land 
of a friendly prince, though his Court on the Akropolis presented a 
curious mixture of the Greek and the Florentine elements. Half a Greek 
himself, Antonio chose both his wives from that race — the first the 
beautiful daughter of a Greek priest, to whom he had lost his heart in 
the mazes of a wedding-dance at Thebes; the second an heiress of the 
great Messenian family of Melissenos, whose bees and bells are not the 
least picturesque escutcheon in the heraldry of mediaeval Greece. As he 
had no children, numbers of the Acciajuoli clan came to Athens with an 
eye to the ducal coronet, which had conferred such lustre upon the steel- 
workers and bankers of Brescia and Florence. One cousin settled down 
at the castle of Sykaminon, near Oropos, which had belonged to the 
Knights of the Hospital, and served his kinsman as an ambassador; 
another became bishop of Cephalonia, the island of that great lady, the 
Countess Francesca, whom Froissart describes as a mediaeval Penelope, 
whose maids of honour made silken coverings so fine that there was none 
like them, and whose splendid hospitality delighted the French nobles 
on their way home from a Turkish prison after the battle of Nikopolis. 
Two other Acciajuoli were archbishops of Thebes; and towards the close 
of Antonio's long reign a second generation of the family had grown up 
in Greece. With such names as Acciajuoli, Medici, Pitti, and Machiavelli 
at the Athenian Court, Attica had, indeed, become a Florentine colony. 

Antonio and his Florentine relatives must have led a merry fife in 
their delectable duchy. In the family correspondence we find allusions 
to hawking and partridge shooting ; and the ducal stable provided good 
mounts for the young Italians who scoured the plains of Attica and 
Bceotia in quest of game. The cultured Florentines were delighted with 
Athens and the Akropolis. "You have never seen," wrote Nicolo 



FLORENTINE ATHENS 145 

Machiavelli to one of his cousins, "a fairer land nor yet a fairer fortress 
than this." It was there, in the venerable Propylaia, that Antonio had 
fixed his ducal residence. No great alterations were required to convert 
the classic work of Mnesikles into a Florentine palace. All that the 
Acciajuoli seem to have done was to cut the two vestibules in two so as 
to make four rooms, to fill up the spaces between the pillars with walk — 
removed so recently as 1835 — and to add a second storey, the joist- 
sockets of which are still visible, to both that building and the Pina- 
kotheke, which either then, or in the Turkish times, was crowned with 
battlements. 

To the Florentine dukes is also usually ascribed the construction of 
the square "Frankish tower," which stood opposite the Temple of Nike 
Apteros till it was pulled down in 1874 by one of those acts of pedantic 
barbarism which considers one period of history alone worthy of study, 
instead of regarding every historical monument as a precious landmark 
in the evolution of a nation. We can well believe that the Florentine 
watchman from the projecting turret daily swept sea and land in all 
directions, save where the massive cathedral of Our Lady shut out part 
of Hymettos from his view; and at night the beacon-fire kindled on the 
summit warned Akrocorinth of the approach of Turkish horsemen or 
rakish-looking galleys. Nor did the Italians limit their activity as 
builders to the castle-crag alone. Chalkokondyles expressly says that 
Antonio's long and peaceful administration enabled him to beautify the 
city. There is evidence that the dukes possessed a beautiful villa at the 
spring of Kalirrhoe, and that close by they were wont to pray in the 
church of St Mary's-on-the-rock, once a temple of Triptolemos. More 
than two centuries later a French ambassador heard mass in this church ; 
and one of his companions found the Hon rampant and the three lilies 
of the Florentine bankers, which visitors to the famous Certosa know so 
well, still guarding — auspicium melioris cBvi — the entrance of the 
Turkish bazaar 1 . 

Of literary culture there are some few traces in Florentine Athens. 
It was in Antonio's reign that Athens gave birth to her last historian, 
Laonikos Chalkokondyles, the Herodotos of mediaeval Greece, who told 
the story of the new Persian invasion, and to his brother Demetrios, who 
did so much to diffuse Greek learning in Italy. Another of Antonio's 
subjects is known to scholars as a copyist of manuscripts at Siena; and 
it is obvious that the two Italian Courts of Athens and Joannina were 
regarded as places where professional men might find openings. A young 
Italian writes from Arezzo to ask if either Antonio Acciajuoli or Carlo 
1 Cornelio Magni, Relatione, pp. 14, 49. 

M. IO 



146 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

Tocco could give him a chair of jurisprudence, logic, medicine, or 
natural or moral philosophy 1 . Unfortunately, we are not told whether 
the modest request of this universal genius was granted or not. 

Thus, for a long period, the Athenian duchy enjoyed peace and 
prosperity, broken only by a terrible visitation of the plague and further 
diminished by emigration — that scourge of modern Greece. But the 
modern Greeks have not the twin institutions, serfdom and slavery, on 
which mediaeval society rested. Even the enlightened Countess of 
Cephalonia presented a young female slave to one of her cousins, with 
full power to sell or otherwise dispose of her as he pleased. Antonio did 
all in his power to retain the useful Albanians, who had entered his 
dominions in large numbers after the capture of the Despotat of Epeiros 
by Carlo Tocco in 1418, and thus rendered a service to Attica, the results 
of which are felt to this present hour. It is to the wise policy of her last 
Aragonese and her second Florentine duke that that Albanian colonisa- 
tion is due which has given "the thin soil" of Attica numbers of sturdy 
cultivators, who still speak Albanian as well as Greek, and still preserve 
in such village names as Spata, Liosia, and Liopesi, the memory of the 
proud Albanian chieftains of Epeiros. Greek influence, too, grew steadily 
under a dynasty which was now half Hellenised. The notary and 
chancellor of the city continued to be a Greek ; and a Greek archon was, 
for the first time since the Frankish conquest, to play a leading part in 
Athenian politics 2 . 

When one morning in 1435, after a reign of thirty-two years, 
Antonio's attendants found him dead in his bed, a Greek as well as an 
Italian party disputed the succession. The Italian candidate, young 
Nerio, eldest son of Franco Acciajuoli, baron of Sykaminon, whom the 
late Duke had adopted as his heir, occupied the city. But the Duchess 
Maria Melissene and her kinsman, Chalkokondyles, father of the his- 
torian and the leading man of Athens, held the castle. Well aware, 
however, that the Sultan was the real master of the situation, the Greek 
archon set out for the Turkish Court to obtain Murad II's consent to 
this act of usurpation. The Sultan scornfully rejected the bribes of the 
Athenian diplomatist, threw him into prison, and sent his redoubtable 
captain, Tourakhan, to occupy Thebes. Even then the Greek Duchess 
did not abandon all hope of securing Athens for the national cause. 
Through the historian Phrantzes she made an arrangement with 
Constantine Palaiologos, the future Emperor, then one of the Despots of 

1 Buchon, Nouvelles Recherches, 11. i. 276. 

2 Michael Laskaris, the Athenian patriot of the fourteenth century, in K. Rhan- 
ghaves' play, The Duchess of Athens, is unhappily a poetic anachronism. 



FLORENTINE ATHENS 147 

the Morea, and the foremost champion of Hellenism, that he should 
become Duke of Athens, and that she should receive compensation near 
her old home in the Peloponnese. This scheme would have united nearly 
all Greece under the Imperial family ; but it was doomed to failure. There 
was a section of Greeks at Athens hostile to Chalkokondyles — for party 
spirit has always characterised Greek public life — and this section joined 
the Florentine party, decoyed the Duchess out of the Akropolis, and 
proclaimed Nerio II. The marriage of the new Duke with the Dowager 
Duchess 1 and the banishment of the family of Chalkokondyles secured 
the internal peace of the distracted city ; and the Sultan was well content 
to allow a Florentine princeling to retain the phantom of power so long 
as he paid his tribute with regularity. 

The weak and effeminate Nerio II was exactly suited for the part of 
a Turkish puppet. But, like many feeble rulers, the " lord of Athens and 
Thebes" seems to have made himself unpopular by his arrogance; and 
a few years after his accession he was deprived of his throne by an 
intrigue of his brother, Antonio II. He then retired to Florence, the 
home of his family, where he had property, to play the part of a prince 
in exile, if exile it could be called. There he must have been living at the 
time of the famous Council, an echo of whose decisions we hear in distant 
Athens, where a Greek priest, of rather more learning than most of his 
cloth, wrote to the (Ecumenical Patriarch on the proper form of public 
prayer for the Pope. A bailie — so we learn from one of his letters 2 — 
was then administering the duchy, for Antonio had died in 1441; his 
infant son, Franco, was absent at the Turkish Court; and his subjects 
had recalled their former lord to the Akropolis. There he was seen, three 
years later, by the first antiquary who ever set foot in Frankish Athens, 
Cyriacus of Ancona, the Pausanias of mediaeval Greece. 

That extraordinary man, like Schliemann, a merchant by profession 
but an archaeologist by inclination, had already once visited Athens. In 
1436 he had stayed there for a fortnight as the guest of a certain 
Antonelli Balduini; but on that occasion he was too much occupied 
copying inscriptions to seek an audience of the Duke. He, too, like the 
Capuan notary, went to see "Aristotle's Study"; he describes the 
" house " or " palace of Hadrian " ; he alludes to the statue of the Gorgon 
on the south of the Akropolis. But of contemporary Athens, apart from 
the monuments, he tells us little beyond the facts that it possessed four 
gates and that it had "new walls" — a statement corroborated by that 
of another traveller thirty years later, which might indicate the so- 

1 Sathas, Mmf/xeta 'EWyvticTji 'Ioro/was (Memorials of Greek History), III. 427. 
* N^o$ 'EWriyofw^/iw (Greek Remembrancer), new series, 1. 55. 



148 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

called wall of Valerian as the work of the Acciajuoli 1 . Of the inhabitants 
he says nothing ; as living Greeks, they had for him no interest ; was he not 
an archaeologist? 

In February 1444 the worthy Cyriacus revisited Athens ; and on this 
occasion, accompanied by the Duke's cousin and namesake, he went to 
pay his respects to " Nerio Acciajuoli of Florence, then prince of Athens," 
whom he "found on the Akropolis, the lofty castle of the city 2 ." Again, 
however, the archaeological overpowered the human interest; and he 
hastened away from the ducal presence to inspect the Propylaia and the 
Parthenon. His original drawing of the west front of the latter building 
has been preserved in a manuscript, which formerly belonged to the 
Duke of Hamilton, but is now in the Berlin Museum, and is the earliest 
known pictorial reproduction of that splendid temple 3 . Other Athenian 
sketches may be seen in the Barberini manuscript of 1465, now at the 
Vatican, which contains the diagrams of San Gallo ; and it seems that 
the eminent architect, who took the explanatory text almost verbatim 
from the note-books of Cyriacus, also copied the latter's drawings. 

The travels of the antiquary of Ancona in Greece demonstrate an 
interesting fact, which has too often been ignored, that the Latin rulers 
of the Levant were sometimes men of culture and taste. Crusino 
Sommaripa, the baron of Paros, took a pride in showing his visitor some 
marble statues which he had had excavated, and allowed him to send a 
marble head and leg to his friend Giustiniani-Banca, of Chios, a con- 
noisseur of art who composed Italian verses in his "Homeric" villa. 
So deeply was Cyriacus moved by Crusino's culture and kindness that 
he too burst out into an Italian poem, of which happily only one line 
has been published. Dorino Gattilusio, the Genoese lord of Lesbos, aided 
him in his investigation of that island; the Venetian governor of Tenos 
escorted him in his state-galley to inspect the antiquities of Delos ; and 
Carlo Tocco II, whom he quaintly describes as " King of the Epeirotes," 
gave him every facility for visiting the ruins of Dodona, and was 
graciously pleased to cast his royal eye over the manuscript account of 
the antiquary's journey 4 . Another of the Tocchi is known to have 
employed a Greek priest to copy for him the works of Origen and 

1 The anonymous traveller ( PDomenico of Brescia) who describes Athens about 
1466 speaks of the city as " ultimamente murata." (Mitteilungen des K. deutschen 
Arch. Instituts, xxiv. 74.) 

2 Tozzetti, Relazione di alcuni viaggi fatti in...Toscana, v. 439, 440. This letter, 
dated "Kyriaceo die, iv Kal. Ap.," fixes the year of the second visit, because 
March 29 fell on a Sunday in 1444, and we know from another letter, written 
before June 1444, that Cyriacus left Chalkis for Chios, where the letter about 
Athens was written, on "v Kal. Mart." of that year. 

8 Jahrbuch der K. preussischen Kunstsammlungen, I v. 81. 
4 Studi e documenti di Storia e di Diritto, xv. 337. 



FLORENTINE ATHENS 149 

Chrysostom; and in the remote Peloponnesian town of Kalavryta 
Cyriacus met a kindred soul, who possessed a large library from which he 
lent the wandering archaeologist a copy of Herodotos. Thus, on the eve 
of the Turkish conquest, Greece was by no means so devoid of culture as 
has sometimes been too hastily assumed. It is clear, on the contrary, 
that her Frankish princes were by no means indifferent to their sur- 
roundings, and that the more enlightened of her own sons were conscious 
of her great past. 

The very year of the antiquary's second visit to Athens witnessed 
the last attempt of a patriotic and ambitious Greek to recover all 
Greece for his race. The future Emperor Constantine was now Despot 
of Mistra, the mediaeval Sparta ; and he thought that the moment had 
at last come for renewing the plan for the annexation of the Athenian 
duchy which had failed nine years before. The Turks, hard pressed by 
the Hungarians and Poles, defeated by " the white knight of Wallachia" 
at Nish, defied by Skanderbeg in the mountains of Albania, and 
threatened by the appearance of a Venetian fleet in the iEgean, could no 
longer protect their creature at Athens. Ere long the last Constantine 
entered the gates of Thebes and forced Nerio II to pay him tribute. The 
Court of Naples heard that he had actually occupied Athens; and 
Alfonso V of Aragon, who had never forgotten that he was still titular 
Duke of Athens and Neopatras, wrote at once to Constantine demanding 
the restitution of the two duchies to himself, and sent the Marquess of 
Gerace to receive them from the conqueror's hands. Scarcely, however, 
had the letter been despatched when the fatal news of the great Turkish 
victory at Varna reached the writer. We hear nothing more of Gerace's 
mission, for all recognised that the fate of Athens now depended upon 
the will of the victorious Sultan. To Murad II the shadowy claims of the 
house of Aragon and the efforts of the house of Palaiologos were aUke 
indifferent. 

Nerio's attitude at this crisis was pitiful in the extreme. The Turks 
punished him for having given way to Constantine. Constantine again 
threatened him for his obsequiousness in promising to renew his tribute 
to the Turks. But the Sultan, true to the traditional Turkish policy of 
supporting the weaker of two rival Christian nationalities, forced the 
Greek Despot to evacuate the Florentine duchy. Nerio had the petty 
satisfaction of accompanying his lord and master to the Isthmus and of 
witnessing the capture of the famous Six-mile Rampart, in which the 
Greeks had vainly trusted, by the Serbian janissaries. Five years later, 
in 145 1, a Venetian despatch gives us a last and characteristic glimpse 
of the wretched Nerio, when the Venetian envoy to the new Sultan, 



150 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

Mohammed II, is instructed to ask that potentate if he will compel his 
vassal, "the lord of Sithines and Stives," to settle the pecuniary claims 
of two Venetians 1 . 

Nerio's death was followed by one of those tragedies in which the 
women of Frankish Greece were so often protagonists, and of which a 
modern dramatist might well avail himself. After the death of his first 
wife, Nerio II had married a passionate Venetian beauty, Chiara Zorzi, 
or Giorgio, one of the daughters of the baron of Karystos, or Castel Rosso, 
in the south of Eubcea, who sprang from the former Marquesses of 
Boudonitza. The Duchess Chiara bore him a son, Francesco, who was 
unfortunately still a minor at the time of his father's death. The child's 
mother possessed herself of the regency and persuaded the Porte, by the 
usual methods, to sanction her usurpation. Soon afterwards, however, 
there visited Athens on some commercial errand a young Venetian noble, 
Bartolommeo Contarini, whose father had been governor of the Venetian 
colony of Nauplia. The Duchess fell in love with her charming visitor, 
and bade him aspire to her hand and land. Contarini replied that alas ! 
he had left a wife behind him in his palace on the lagoons. To the Lady of 
the Akropolis, a figure who might have stepped from a play of ^Eschylus, 
the Venetian wife was no obstacle. It was the age of great crimes. 
Contarini realised that Athens was worth a murder, poisoned his spouse, 
and returned to enjoy the embraces and the authority of the Duchess. 

But the Athenians soon grew tired of this Venetian domination. 
They complained to Mohammed II ; the great Sultan demanded explana- 
tions; and Contarini was forced to appear with his stepson, whose 
guardian he pretended to be, at the Turkish Court. There he found a 
dangerous rival in the person of Franco Acciajuoli, only son of the late 
Duke Antonio II and cousin of Francesco, a special favourite of 
Mohammed and a willing candidate for the Athenian throne. When the 
Sultan heard the tragic story of Chiara's passion, he ordered the 
deposition of both herself and her husband, and bade the Athenians 
accept Franco as their lord. Young Francesco was never heard of again. 
But the tragedy was not yet over. Franco had no sooner assumed the 
government of Athens than he ordered the arrest of his aunt Chiara, 
threw her into the dungeons of Megara, and there had her mysteriously 
murdered. A picturesque legend current three centuries later at Athens 
makes Franco throttle her with his own hands as she knelt invoking the 

aid of the Virgin, and then cut off her head with his sword 2 ; so deep 

1 Jorga in Revue de I'Orient Latin, vin. 78. 

2 Kampouroglos, Mvyfieia (Memorials), 111. 141. The legend places the scene 
in a still more romantic spot than Megara — the monastery of Daphni, the mauso- 
leum of the French dukes. 



FLORENTINE ATHENS 151 

was the impression which her fate made upon the popular imagina- 
tion. 

The legend tells us how her husband, " the Admiral," had come with 
many ships to the Piraeus to rescue her, but arrived too late. Unable to 
save, he resolved to avenge her, and laid the grim facts before the Sultan. 
Mohammed II, indignant at the conduct of his protege, but not sorry, 
perhaps, of a pretext for destroying the remnants of Frankish rule at 
Athens, ordered Omar, son of Tourakhan, the governor of Thessaly, to 
march against the city. The lower town offered no resistance, for its 
modern walls had but a narrow circumference, and its population and 
resources were scanty. Nature herself seemed to fight against the 
Athenians. On May 29, the third anniversary of the capture of Con- 
stantinople, a comet appeared in the sky; a dire famine followed, so 
that the people were reduced to eat roots and grass. On June 4, 1456, 
the town fell into the hands of the Turks 1 . But the Akropolis, which was 
reputed impregnable, long held out. In vain the Constable of Athens 
and some of the citizens offered the castle to Venice through one of the 
Zorzi family; the Republic ordered the bailie of Negroponte to keep the 
offer open, but took no steps to save the most famous fortress in Christen- 
dom; in vain he summoned one Latin prince after another to his aid. 
From the presence of an Athenian ambassador at the Neapolitan Court 2 
we may infer that Alfonso V of Aragon, the titular "Duke of Athens," 
was among their number. The papal fleet, which was despatched to the 
iEgean, did not even put into the Piraeus. Meanwhile Omar, after a vain 
attempt to seduce the garrison from its allegiance, reminded Franco 
that sooner or later he must restore Athens to the Sultan who gave 
it. "Now, therefore," added the Turkish commander, "if thou wilt 
surrender the Akropolis, His Majesty offers thee the land of Bceotia, 
with the city of Thebes, and will allow thee to take away the wealth of 
the Akropolis and thine own property." Franco only waited till 
Mohammed had confirmed the offer of his subordinate, and then quitted 
the castle of Athens, with his wife and his three sons, for ever. At the 
same time the last Catholic archbishop, Nicolo Protimo of Eubcea, left 
the cathedral of Our Lady. It was not till 1875 that a Latin prelate again 
resided at Athens. 

The great Sultan, so his Greek biographer, Kritoboulos, tells us, was 
filled with a desire to see the city of the philosophers. Mohammed knew 

1 A contemporary note in ms., No. 103 of the Liturgical section of the National 
Library at Athens, fixes the date as "May 4, 1456, Friday"; but in that year 
June 4, not May 4, was on a Friday, which agrees with the date of June 1456 given 
by Phrantzes, the Chronicon breve, the Historia Patriarchica, and Gaddi. 

2 Archivio Storico per le province Napoletane, xxvm. 203. 



152 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

Greek, and had heard and read much about the wisdom and marvellous 
works of the ancient Athenians ; we may surmise that Cyriacus of Ancona 
had told him of the Athenian monuments when he was employed as 
reader to his Majesty during the siege of Constantinople 1 . This strange 
" Philhellene " — for so Kritoboulos audaciously describes the conqueror 
of Hellas — longed to visit the places where the heroes and sages of 
classic Athens had walked and talked, and at the same time to examine, 
with a statesman's eye, the position of the city and the condition of its 
harbours. In the autumn of 1458, on his return from punishing the Greek 
Despots of the Morea, he had an opportunity of achieving his wish. 
When he arrived at the gates (if we may believe a much later tradition 2 ), 
the Abbot of Kaisariane, the monastery which still nestles in one of the 
folds of Hymettos, handed him the keys of the city. There is nothing 
improbable in the story, for the Greek Metropolitan, Isidore, had fled 
to the Venetian Island of Tenos ; and the abbot may therefore have been 
the most important Greek dignitary left at Athens. The Sultan devoted 
four days to visiting his new possession, " of all the cities in his Empire 
the dearest to him," as the Athenian Chalkokondyles proudly says. But 
of all that he saw he admired most the Akropolis, whose ancient and 
recent buildings he examined "with the eyes of a scholar, a Philhellene, 
and a great sovereign." Like Pedro IV of Aragon before him, he was 
proud to possess such a jewel, and in his enthusiasm he exclaimed, " How 
much, indeed, do we not owe to Omar, the son of Tourakhan ! " 

The conquered Athenians were once again saved by their ancestors. 
Like his Roman prototype, Mohammed II treated them humanely, 
granted all their petitions, and gave them many and various privileges. 
So late as the seventeenth century there were Athenians who could show 
patents of fiscal exemption, issued to their forebears by the conqueror. 
If, however, the Greek clergy had hoped that the great cathedral would 
be restored to the Orthodox church, they were disappointed. The 
Parthenon, by a third transformation, was converted into a mosque; 
and soon, from the tapering minaret which rose above it, the muezzin 
summoned the faithful to the Ismaidi, or "house of prayer." A like 
fate befell the church which had served as the Orthodox cathedral 
during the Frankish domination, but which received, in honour of the 
Sultan's visit, the name of Fethijeh Jamisi, or "Mosque of the Con- 
queror," and which still preserves, amid the squalid surroundings of the 
nilitary bakery, the traces of its former purpose. 

The anonymous treatise on "The Theatres and Schools of Athens," 

1 De Rossi, Inscriptiones Christiana Urbis Roma, II. i. 374. 
* Spon, Voyage, n. 155, 172. 



FLORENTINE ATHENS 153 

which was probably composed by some Greek at this moment, perhaps 
to serve as a guide-book for the distinguished visitor, gives us a last 
glimpse of Frankish Athens. The choragic monument of Lysikrates was 
still known as "the lantern of Demosthenes"; the Tower of the Winds 
was supposed to be "the School of Sokrates"; the gate of Athena 
Archegetis was transformed in common parlance into "the palace of 
Themistokles " ; the Odeion of Perikles was called "the School of 
Aristophanes"; and that of Herodes Atticus was divided into "the 
palaces of Kleonides and Miltiades." The spots where once had stood the 
houses of Thucydides, Solon, and Alkmaion were well known to the 
omniscient local antiquary, who unhesitatingly converts the Temple of 
Wingless Victory into "a small school of musicians, founded by Pytha- 
goras." 

On the fifth day after his arrival the heir of these great men left 
Athens for Thebes, the abode of his vassal Franco, who must have 
heaved a sigh of relief when his terrible visitor, after a minute examina- 
tion of Bceotia, set out for Macedonia. For two years longer he managed 
to retain his Theban dominions, from which he received a revenue as 
large as that which he had formerly enjoyed, till, in 1460, Mohammed, 
after finally destroying the two Greek principalities of the Morea, 
revisited Athens. There the Sultan heard a rumour that some Athenians 
had conspired to restore their Florentine lord. This decided Franco's 
fate. At the moment he was serving, as the man of the Turk, with a 
regiment of Boeotian cavalry in Mohammed's camp. His suzerain 
ordered him to join in an attack which he meditated upon the surviving 
fragments of the ancient county of Cephalonia, the domain of the 
Tocchi. Franco shrank from fighting against his fellow-countryman; 
and a curious letter has recently been published 1 in which, for this very 
reason, he offered his services as a condottiere to Francesco Sforza of 
Milan for the sum of 10,000 ducats a year. But he was forced to obey; 
he did his pitiable task, and repaired to the headquarters of Zagan 
Pasha, the governor of the Morea, unconscious that the latter had orders 
to kill him. The Pasha invited him to his tent, where he detained him in 
conversation till nightfall; but, as the unsuspecting Frank was on his 
way back to his own pavilion, the governor's guards seized and strangled 
him. Such was the sorry end of the last " Lord of Thebes." Mohammed 
annexed all Bceotia, and thus obliterated the last trace of the Duchy of 
Athens. 

Franco's three sons were enrolled in the corps of janissaries, where 
one of them showed military and administrative ability of so high an 
1 "Sios"KKK7jvo^vfinuv {Greek Remembrancer), new series, I. 216-18. 



154 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

order as to win the favour of his sovereign. Their mother, a Greek of 
noble lineage and famed for her beauty, became the cause of a terrible 
tragedy which convulsed alike Court and Church. Amoiroutses, the 
former minister and betrayer of the Greek Empire of Trebizond, fell 
desperately in love with the fair widow, to whom he addressed im- 
passioned verses, and swore, though he was already married, to wed her 
or die. The (Ecumenical Patriarch forbade the banns, and lost his beard 
and his office rather than yield to the Sultan. But swift retribution fell 
upon the bigamist, for he dropped down dead, a dice-box in his hand. 

Though the Acciajuoli dynasty had thus fallen for ever, members of 
that great family still remained in Greece. An Acciajuoli was made civil 
governor of the old Venetian colony of Koron, in Messenia, when the 
Spaniards conquered it from the Turks in 1532. When they abandoned 
it, he was captured by pirates but eventually ransomed, only to die 
in poverty at Naples, where his race had first risen to eminence. At the 
beginning of the last century the French traveller, Pouqueville, was 
shown at Athens a donkey-driver named Neri, in whose veins flowed the 
blood of the Florentine Dukes; and the modern historian of Christian 
Athens, Neroutsos, used to contend that his family was descended from 
Nerozzo Pitti, lord of Sykaminon and uncle of the last Duke of Athens. 
In Florence the family became extinct only so recently as 1834 ; and the 
Certosa and the Lung* Arno Acciajuoli still preserve its memory there. 
In a Florentine gallery are two coloured portraits of the Dukes of 
Athens, which would seem to be those of Nerio I and the bastard 
Antonio I. In that case the Florentine Dukes of Athens are the only 
Frankish rulers of Greece, except the Palatine Counts of Cephalonia, 
whose likeness has been preserved to posterity 1 . 

Thus ended the strange connection between Florence and Athens. 
A titular Duke of Athens had become tyrant of the Florentines, a 
Florentine merchant had become Duke of Athens; but the age when 
French and Italian adventurers could find an El Dorado on the poetic 
soil of Greece was over. The dull uniformity of Turkish rule spread over 
the land, save where the Dukes of the Archipelago and the Venetian 
colonies still remained the sole guardians of Western culture, the only 
rays of light in the once brilliant Latin Orient. 

1 The portraits of the six Florentine Dukes of Athens in Fanelli's Atene Attica 
are unfortunately imaginary. On the other hand, the figure of Joshua in one of the 
frescoes at Geraki in Lakonia seems to be intended to portray one of the Frankish 
barons of that Castle. 



FLORENTINE ATHENS 155 

AUTHORITIES 

1. "Eyypafpa dva(pep6p.fva els ttjv p.e(raia>vi.Kr)v 'laropiav ra>v 'A6t)vS)v (Documents 

relating to the Mediceval History of Athens). Ed. Sp. P. Lampros. 
Athens, 1906. 

2. Briefe a us der " Corrispondenza Acciajoli" in der Laurenziana zu 

Florenz. By Ferdinand Gregorovius. Munich, 1890. 

3. Nicolai de Marthono liber peregrinationis ad loca sancta. In La Revue 

de I'Orient Latin, vol. in. Paris, 1895. 

4. MvTjfiela rrjs 'icrropias twv *&0i)vaUm (Memorials of the History of the 

Athenians). By Demetrios Gr. Kampouroglos. 2nd Edn. Athens, 
1891-92. 

5. 'la-ropia tSjv 'Adrjpcdav (History of the Athenians). By D. Gr. Kam- 

pouroglos. Athens, 1889-96. 

6. 'laropia tS>v 'Adrjvav eVl TovpicoKparlas (History of Athens under the 

Turks). By Th. N. Philadelpheus. Athens, 1902. 

7. Mvrjfjifla 'EXKTjviKfjs 'ItrTopias (Memorials of Greek History). Edited by 

C. N. Sathas. Paris, 1880-90. 

8. Ne'or ''EWrjvop.vrffiaiv (Greek Remembrancer). New Series. Vols, i-iii. 

Ed. by Sp. P. Lampros. Athens, 1904-17. 

9. Nouvelles Recherches historiques sur la principaute francaise de More'e. 

By Buchon. Two vols. Paris, 1843. 
10. La politica Orientale di Alfonso di Aragona. By F. Cerone. In Archivio 

Storico per le province Napoletane. Vols, xxvn-xxvin. Naples, 

1902-3. 
And other works. 

APPENDIX 
NOTES ON ATHENS UNDER THE FRANKS 

Within the last sixteen years a great deal of new material has 
been published on the subject of Frankish Athens. The late Professor 
Lampros 1 not only translated into Greek the Geschichte der Stadt 
Athen im Mittelaiter of Gregorovius, but added some most valuable 
notes, and more than a whole volume of documents, some of which had 
never seen the light before, while others were known only in the sum- 
maries or extracts of Hopf, Gregorovius, or Signor Predelli. He also 
issued a review, the Neo9 'l&Wrivo/jbvrjfuov, devoted to mediaeval Greek 
history, of which thirteen volumes have appeared. The French have gone 
on printing the Regesta of the thirteenth-century popes, which contain 
occasional allusions to Greek affairs. Don Antonio Rubio y Lluch, the 
Catalan scholar, has issued a valuable pamphlet, Catalunya a Grecia 2 , 
besides contributing a mass of documents from the archives at Palermo 

1 'Iffropla ttjs II6Xews ' Kdtiv&v Kara roi>s niaovs aiuvas. (*B» ' Ad-qvais, K. Mireic' 
1904-6.) 

2 Barcelona, L'Avenc, 1906. Cf. Anuari de V Institut d' Estudis Catalans 
(1907-8, 1911, 1913-14). Estudis Universitaris Catalans, via. (1915). 



156 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

to the collection of Professor Lampros; and the essay on the "Eastern 
Policy of Alfonso of Aragon," published by Signor Cerone in the Archivio 
Storico per le province Napoletane 1 , contains many hitherto unknown 
documents dealing with the last two decades of Greek history before the 
Turkish conquest. I propose in the present article to point out the most 
important additions to our knowledge of Athens under her western 
masters which have thus been obtained. Of the condition of the 
Parthenon — "Our Lady of Athens" — on the eve of the Frankish con- 
quest we have some interesting evidence. We learn from an iambic poem 
of Michael Akominatos, the Greek Metropolitan of Athens, that he 
"beautified the church, presented new vessels and furniture for its use, 
increased the number of the clergy, and added to the estates" of the 
great cathedral, as well as to the "flocks and herds" which belonged to 
it. Every year a great festival attracted the Greeks from far and near to 
the shrine of the "Virgin of Athens 2 ." 

As was only to be expected, very little fresh light has been thrown on 
the Burgundian period. We learn however, from a Greek manuscript in 
the Vatican library, how Leon Sgouros, the archon of Nauplia, who long 
held out at Akrocorinth against the Frankish conquerors, met his end. 
Rather than be taken captive "he mounted his horse and leapt from 
Akrocorinth, so that not a single bone in his body was left unbroken 3 ." 
We find too, in a letter from Honorius III to Othon de la Roche, dated 
February 12, 1225, the last allusion to the presence of the Megaskyr in 
his Athenian dominions before his return to France ; and we hear of two 
members of his family, William and Nicholas, both canons of Athens. The 
former had gravem in litteratura defectum, or else he would have been 
made archbishop of Athens ; the latter is probably the same person whose 
name has been found on the stoa of Hadrian 4 . 

The Catalan period receives much more illustration. We know at last 
the exact date at which it ended, for a letter of Jacopo da Prato (pro- 
bably a relative of the Ludovico da Prato who was the first Florentine 
archbishop of Athens), dated Patras, May 9, 1388, announces that Nerio 
Acciajuoli ebe adi 2 di questo lo chastello di Settino 5 . Thus Don Antonio 
Rubio y Lluch 6 was right in his surmise that Don Pedro de Pau, who is 
mentioned as erroneously reported dead in a letter of John I of Aragon, 

1 Vols. xxvn. 3-93, 380-456, 555-634. 77i- 8 52; xxviii. 154-212. 

2 Lampros, op. cit., II. 729; Uapvacrads, VII. 23. 

8 Cod. Palat. 226, f. 122; Lampros, op. cit., 1. 421, note. 

* Pressutti, Regesta Honorii III, 11. 304; Les Registres d'Urbain IV, in. 426; 
AeXrlov TTjs'IaTopucrjs Kal'E0vo\oyiKijs 'Eraipias, n. 28; Les Registres de CUment IV, I. 
214, 245. 

8 Lampros, op. cit., in. 119. • Catalunya a Grecia, pp. 42, 53. 



FLORENTINE ATHENS 157 

dated November 16, 1387, held out in the Akropolis down to 1388. The 
Catalan scholar had shown that the brave commander of "the Castle 
of Athens " had sent an envoy to John I, who received him " in the lesser 
palace of Barcelona " on March 18, 1387, and who promised the sindici 
of Athens on April 26 to pay a speedy visit to his distant duchy *, Don 
Antonio Rubio y Lluch also writes to me that Hopf was mistaken in 
translating Petrus de Puteo of the Sicilian documents — the official whose 
high-handed proceedings led to a revolution at Thebes in which he, his 
wife, and his chief followers lost their lives — as Peter de Puig 2 . His 
name should really be Peter de Pou, and it is obvious from the documents 
that Hopf 's chronology of his career is also wrong. He is mentioned in 
a document of August 3, 1366, as already dead 3 ; we learn that his official 
title was "vicar of the duchies" — that is to say, deputy for Matteo de 
Moncada, the absent vicar-general — and he is spoken of as "having 
presided in the duchies as vicar-general," and as "having presided in the 
office of the vicariate 4 ." We find too that the castle of Zeitoun or Lamia 
(turrim Griffinam) belonged to him 5 . Roger de Lluria, who was at this 
time marshal of the duchies 6 , is already officially styled as vicar-general 7 
on August 3, 1366, though the formal commission removing Matteo de 
Moncada and appointing Roger de Lluria in his place was not made out 
till May 14 of the following year 8 . The new vicar-general held till his 
death, which must have taken place before March 31, 1370, when his 
successor was appointed 9 , the two great offices 10 , and, I think, the facts 
above stated enable us to explain the reason why no more marshals 
were appointed after that date. The office of marshal had been here- 
ditary in the family of De Novelles, and Gregorovius 11 pointed out that 
Ermengol de Novelles did not (as Hopf imagined) hold it till his death, 
but that Roger de Lluria was marshal before that event. I should 
suppose that Ermengol had been deprived of the office as a punishment 
for his rebellion against his sovereign 12 ; that the conflict between Lluria 
and Pou proved that there was no room in the narrow court of Thebes 
for two such exalted officials as a vicar and a marshal; and, as Lluria, 
when he became vicar, combined the two offices in his person, it was 
thought a happy solution of the difficulty. 

Professor Lampros has published three documents 13 from the Vatican 

1 Catalunya a Grecia, pp. 50, 91. 

2 " Geschichte Griechenlands," in Ersch und Gruber's Allgemeine Encyklopddie y 
lxxxvi. 18, 19; Chroniques grico-romanes, p. 475; Anuari (191 1). 

3 Lampros, op. cit., p. 344. * Ibid., pp. 234-6, 238. 

5 Ibid., p. 344. 6 Ibid., pp. 279, 350. 7 Ibid., p. 335. 

8 Ibid., p. 283. 9 Ibid., p. 315. 10 Ibid., pp. 240, 282, 330. 

11 Geschichte der Stadt A then im Mittelalter, 11. 156, note 1. 

12 Rubi6 y Lluch, Los Navarros en Grecia, p. 476. 1S Op. cit., pp. 82-8. 



158 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

archives which refer to a mysterious scheme for the marriage of a 
Sicilian duchess of Athens. The documents have no date, except the day 
of the month, and in one case of the week, and one of them is partly in 
cypher. But I think that I have succeeded in fixing the exact date of the 
first to January 4, 1369, because in 1368, December 22 was on a Friday. 
This suits all the historical facts mentioned. The bishop of Cambrai, to 
whom the second letter is addressed, must be Robert of Geneva (after- 
wards the anti-pope Clement VII), who occupied that see from October 
11, 1368, to June 6, 1371. The dominus Anghia, whose death has so much 
disturbed the diocese, is Sohier d'Enghien, who was beheaded in 1367 ; 
the comes Litii is his brother Jean, count of Lecce, and the latter's 
nephew, whose marriage "with the young niece of the king of Sicily, 
daughter of a former Catalan duke of Athens," is considered suitable, 
is Gautier III, titular duke of Athens, who had inherited the claims of 
the Brienne family. The lady whose marriage is the object of all these 
negotiations must therefore have been one of the two daughters of John, 
Marquis of Randazzo and Duke of Athens and Neopatras, who died in 
1348, and whose youngest child, Constance, may therefore have been 
xx annorum et ultra at this period, and is known to have been single. 
She was the niece of King Peter II and cousin of Frederick III of Sicily, 
one of whose sisters is described as too old for the titular duke, which 
would of course have been the case in 1369. The allusions to Philip II 
of Taranto as still living also fix the date as before the close of 1373, 
when he died. Moreover Archbishop Simon of Thebes is known to have 
been in Sicily in 1367, and may have remained there longer. What was 
apparently an insuperable chronological obstacle, the allusion to obitum 
dotnini regis Francice, disappeared when I examined the original docu- 
ment in the Vatican library and found that the last two words were regie 
fameie, that is, families'. Possibly the allusion may be to Pedro the Cruel 
of Castile, who was slain in 1369. The letters then disclose a matrimonial 
alliance which would have reconciled the Athenian claims of the house 
of Enghien with the ducal dominion over Catalan Athens exercised by 
Frederick III of Sicily. 

Don Antonio Rubi6 y Lluch has published two letters 1 of " the queen 
of Aragon," wife of Pedro IV (not, as assumed by K. Konstantinides, 
Maria, queen of Sicily and duchess of Athens), from the former of which, 
dated 1379 an( i addressed to Archbishop Ballester of Athens, we glean 
some curious information about the relics which the cathedral of Santa 
Maria de Setines (the Parthenon) then contained, and of which the Italian 

1 AeXrlov TTJs'IcrTOfHKrjs ko.1 'EOvoXoyiKTJs'l&raipias, V. 824—7. 



FLORENTINE ATHENS 159 

traveller Nicolo da Martoni made out a list sixteen years later 1 . The 
Catalan scholar has shown too that some years after the Florentine 
conquest of Athens a certain Bertranet, un dels majors capitans del ducat 
d'Atenes, recovered a place where was the head of St George, that is to 
say, Livadia 2 . The personage mentioned is Bertranet Mota, whose name 
occurs in the treaty with the Navarrese in 1390, as a witness to another 
document in the same year, in the list of fiefs in 139 1, in Nerio Acciajuoli's 
will, and in a letter of the bishop of Argos in 1394. He was a friend of 
Nerio's bastard, Antonio ; he had obviously helped the latter to recover 
Livadia from the Turks in 1393, and we are thus able to reconcile 
Chalkokondyles, who says that Bayezid had already annexed Livadia, 
with the clause in Nerio's will leaving the important fortress to Antonio 3 . 
More interesting still, as showing the tenacity with which the kings of 
Aragon clung to the shadow of their rule over Athens, is the letter of 
Alfonso V to the despot Constantine Palaiologos (afterwards the last 
emperor of Constantinople), dated November 27, 1444, in which the king 
says that he has heard that Constantine has occupied Athens, and there- 
fore requests him to hand over the two duchies of Athens and Neopatras 
to the Marquess of Gerace, his emissary 4 . 

Lastly, to our knowledge of the Florentine period Professor Lampros 
has contributed three letters 5 of the Athenian priest and copyist 
Kalophrenas, which show that the attempts of the council of Florence for 
the union of the eastern and western churches found an echo in Floren- 
tine Athens. Professor Lampros was puzzled to explain the allusion 
to tov d<f>€vrd<i tov fXTrarjXov in one of the letters. He thinks it alludes to 
the Venetian bailie at Chalkis, who however had no jurisdiction at Athens 
at that period. If however, as he supposes, the correspondence dates 
from 1441 the phrase presents no difficulty. In that year Antonio II 
Acciajuoli had died, leaving an infant son, Franco, then absent at the 
Turkish court, and Nerio II, the former duke, returned to Athens. We 
may therefore suppose that "the prince's baily" was the official who 
governed Athens till Nerio II came back. Professor Lampros has also 
published a letter 8 of Franco, the last duke of Athens, to Francesco 
Sforza of Milan, dated 1460, from Thebes, which Mohammed II had 
allowed him to retain after the capture of Athens in 1456. In this letter, 

1 Revue de I'Orient Latin, in. 647-53, 656. 

s Catalunya a Grecia, pp. 57, 63. 

s Predelli, Commemoriali, in. 206, 208; Hopf, Chroniques, p. 229; Buchon, 
Nouvelles Recherches, n. i. 257; Gregorovius, Brief e aus der " Corrispondenza Accia- 
joli," p. 308; Chalkokondyles, pp. 145, 213. 

* Archivio Storico per le province Napoletane, xxvii. 430-1. 
6 Op. cit., II. 747-52; NVoi 'EWrjvofiv^fMuv, I. 43-56. 

• Op. cit., in. 407-9; N6>s 'E\\r)i>onv7)/xu)v, I. 216-24. 



i6o FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

written not long before his murder, Franco offers his services as a con- 
dottiere to the duke of Milan. This was not his only negotiation with 
western potentates, for only a few days before the loss of Athens an 
ambassador of his was at the Neapolitan court K 

One mistake has escaped the notice of Professor Lampros, as of his 
predecessors. The date of the second visit of Cyriacus of Ancona to 
Athens, when he found Nerio II on the Akropolis, must have been 1444 
and not 1447, because the antiquary's letter from Chios is dated 
Kyriaceo die iv. Kal. Ap. Now, March 29 fell on a Sunday in 1444, and 
we know from another letter of Cyriacus to the emperor John VI, 
written before June 1444, that he left Chalkis for Chios on v. Kal. Mart. 
of that year. 

THE TURKISH CAPTURE OF ATHENS 

The authorities differ as to the exact date of the capture of Athens 
by the Turks. A contemporary note in Manuscript No. 103 of the 
Liturgical Section of the National Library at Athens, quoted by 
Kampouroglos 2 , fixes it at "May 4, 1456, Friday"; but in that year 
June 4, not May 4, was a Friday, which agrees with the date of June 
1456, given by Phrantzes 3 , the Chronicon Breve*, and the Historia 
Patriarchica 5 . But the best evidence in favour of June is the following 
document of 1458, to which allusion was made by Gaddi 6 in the seven- 
teenth century, but which has never been published. I owe the copy to 
the courtesy of the Director of the "Archivio di Stato" at Florence. 

Item dictis anno et indictione [1458 Ind. 7] et die xxvj octobris. 

Magnifici et potentes domini domini priores artium et vexillifer iustitie 
populi et comunis Florentie Intellecta expositione facta pro parte Loysii 
Neroczi Loysii de Pictis 7 civis florentini exponentis omnia et singula 
infrascripta vice et nomine Neroczi eius patris et domine Laudomine eius 
matris et filie olim Franchi de Acciaiuolis absentium et etiam suo nomine 
proprio et vice et nomine fratrum ipsius Loysii et dicentis et narrantis quod 
dictus Neroczus eius pater et domina Laudomina eius mater iam diu et 
semper cum eorum familia prout notum est multis huius civitatis habita- 
verunt in Grecia in civitate Athenarum in qua habebant omnia eorum bona 
mobilia et immobilia excepta tantum infrascripta domo Florentie posita et 
quod dictus Neroczus iam sunt elapsi triginta quinque anni vel circa cepit 
in uxorem dictam dominam Laudominam in dicta civitate Athenarum ubi 
per gratiam Dei satis honorifice vivebant. Et quod postea de mense iunii 
anni millesimi quadringentesimi quinquagesimi sexti prout f uit voluntas Dei 

1 Archivio Storico per le province Napoletane, xxvin. 203. 

2 Mpjj/ieia 7-77S 'Icrropiaj t&v 'AOrjvaLwv, II. 153* 

8 p. 385- * P- 520. 5 p. 124. 

• Elogiographus, 300-1. 

7 Loysii Neroczi de Pictis nomine Neroczi eius patris pro venditione cuiusdam 
domus. 



FLORENTINE ATHENS 161 

accidit quod ipsa civitas Athenarum fuit capta a Theucris et multi christiani 
ibi existentes ab eisdem spoliati et depulsi fuerunt inter quos fuit et est ipse 
Neroczus qui cum dicta eius uxore et undecim filiis videlicet sex masculis et 
quinque feminis expulsus fuit et omnibus suis bonis privatus et ita se absque 
ulla substantia reduxit in quoddam castrum prope Thebes in quo ad presens 
ipse Neroczus cum omni eius familia se reperit in paupertate maxima; et 
quod sibi super omnia molestum et grave est coram se videre dictas puellas 
iam nubiles et absque principio alicuius dotis et cum non habeant aliqua 
bona quibus possint succurrere tot tantisque eorum necessitatibus nisi solum 
unam domum cum una domuncula iuxta se positam Florentie in loco detto 
al Poczo Toschanelli quibus a primo, secundo et tertio via a quarto domus 
que olim fuit domine Nanne Soderini de Soderinis ipsi Nerozus et domina 
Laudomina et eorum filii predicti optarent posse vendere domos predictas 
ut de pretio illarum possint partim victui succurrere partim providere 
dotibus alicuius puellarum predictarum 1 . 

The petitioners in the document are all well known. Nerozzo Pitti 

and his wife Laudamia owned the castle of Sykaminon, near Oropos, 

which had belonged to her father, Franco Acciajuoli 2 . She was the aunt 

of the last two dukes of Athens. Pitti also possessed the island of Panaia, 

or Canaia, the ancient Pyrrha, opposite the mouth of the Maliac Gulf, 

and his "dignified tenure" of those two places is praised by Baphius 

in his treatise De Felicitate Urbis F lor entice 3 , a century later. According 

to the contemporary chronicler, Benedetto Dei*, the Athenian Pitti were 

compelled to become Mohammedans when Bceotia was annexed; but 

the late historian Neroutsos used to maintain his descent from Nerozzo. 



6. THE DUCHY OF NAXOS 

Of all the strange and romantic creations of the Middle Ages none 
is so curious as the capture of the poetic "Isles of Greece" by a 
handful of Venetian adventurers, and their organisation as a Latin 
Duchy for upwards of three centuries. Even to-day the traces of the 
ducal times may be found in many of the Cyclades, where Latin families, 
descendants of the conquerors, still preserve the high-sounding names 
and the Catholic religion of their Italian ancestors, in the midst of ruined 
palaces and castles, built by the mediaeval lords of the Archipelago out 
of ancient Hellenic temples. But of the Duchy of Naxos little is generally 
known. Its picturesque history, upon which Finlay touched rather 
slightly in his great work, has since then been thoroughly explored by a 
laborious German, the late Dr Hopf; but that lynx-eyed student of 
archives had no literary gifts ; he could not write, he could only read, and 
his researches lie buried in a ponderous encyclopaedia. So this delightful 

1 R. Archivio di Stato di Firenze, Aul. della Repubblica, Balie, no. 29 c. 67. 
* Buchon, Nouvelles Recherches, n. i. 292. * p. 38. 

4 Apud Pagnini, Delia Decitna, n. 251. 



162 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

Duchy, whose whole story is one long romance, still awaits the hand of a 
novelist to make it live again. 

The origin of this fantastic State of the blue ^Egean is to be found 
in the overthrow of the Greek Empire at the time of the Fourth Crusade. 
By the partition treaty made between the Latin conquerors of Con- 
stantinople, Venice received the Cyclades among other acquisitions. 
But the Venetian Government, with its usual commercial astuteness, 
soon came to the conclusion that the conquest of those islands would too 
severely tax the resources of the State. It was therefore decided to leave 
the task of occupying them to private citizens, who would plant 
Venetian colonies in the ^Egean, and live on friendly terms with the 
Republic. There was no lack of enterprise among the Venetians of that 
generation, and it so happened that at that very moment the Venetian 
colony at Constantinople contained the very man for such an under- 
taking. The old Doge, Dandolo, had taken with him on the crusade his 
nephew, Marco Sanudo, a bold warrior and a skilful diplomatist, who 
had signalised himself by negotiating the sale of Crete to the Republic, 
and was then filling the post of judge in what we should now call the 
Consular Court at Constantinople. On hearing the decision of his 
Government, Sanudo quitted the bench, gathered round him a band of 
adventurous spirits, to whom he promised rich fiefs in the El Dorado of 
the vEgean, equipped eight galleys at his own cost, and sailed with them 
to carve out a Duchy for himself in the islands of the Archipelago. 
Seventeen islands speedily submitted, and at one spot alone did he meet 
with any real resistance. Naxos has always been the pearl of the JEgean : 
poets have placed there the beautiful myth of Ariadne and Dionysos; 
Herodotos describes it as "excelling the other islands in prosperity 1 "; 
even to-day, when so many of the Cyclades are barren rocks, the orange 
and lemon groves of Naxos entitle it, far more than Zante, to the proud 
name of "flower of the Levant." This was the island which now 
opposed the Venetian filibuster, as centuries before it had opposed the 
Persians. A body of Genoese pirates had occupied the Byzantine 
castle before Sanudo's arrival; but that shrewd leader, who knew the 
value of rashness in an emergency, burnt his galleys, and then bade his 
companions conquer or die. The castle surrendered after a five weeks' 
siege, so that by 1207 Sanudo had conquered a duchy which existed for 
359 years. His duchy included, besides Naxos, where he fixed his 
capital, the famous marble island of Paros; Kimolos, celebrated for its 
fuller's earth ; Melos, whose sad fortunes furnished Thucydides with one 
of the most curious passages in his history; and Syra, destined at a much 

1 V. 28. 



THE DUCHY OF NAXOS 163 

later date to be the most important of all the Cyclades. True to his 
promise, Sanudo divided some of his conquests among his companions ; 
thus, Andros and the volcanic island of Santorin became sub-fiefs of the 
Duchy. Sanudo himself did homage, not to Venice, but to the Emperor 
Henry of Romania, who formally bestowed upon him " the Duchy of the 
Dodekannesos," or Archipelago, on the freest possible tenure. Having 
thus arranged the constitution of his little State, he proceeded to restore 
the ancient city; to build himself a castle, which commanded his capital 
and which is now in ruins; to erect a Catholic cathedral, on which, in 
spite of its restoration in the seventeenth century, his arms may still 
be seen ; to improve the harbour by the construction of a mole ; and to 
fortify the town with solid masonry, of which one fragment stands to-day, 
a monument, like the Santameri tower at Thebes, of Frank rule in 
Greece. 

As we might expect from so shrewd a statesman, the founder of 
this island-duchy was fully sensible of the advantages to be derived from 
having the Greeks on his side. Instead of treating them as serfs and 
schismatics, he allowed all those who did not intrigue against him with 
the Greek potentates at Trebizond, Nice, or Arta, to retain their 
property. He guaranteed the free exercise of their religion, nor did he 
allow the Catholic archbishop, sent him by the Pope, to persecute the 
Orthodox clergy or their flocks. The former imperial domains were 
confiscated, in order to provide and maintain a new fleet, so necessary 
to the existence of islands menaced by pirates. That Marco I was a 
powerful and wealthy ruler is proved not only by his buildings, but also 
by the value set upon his aid. When the Cretans had risen, as they so 
often did, against the Venetians, the Governor sent in hot haste to Naxos 
for Marco's assistance. The Duke was still a citizen of the Republic; but 
the Governor knew his man, and stimulated his patriotism by the offer 
of lands in Crete. Marco lost no time in appearing upon the scene, 
defeated the insurgents, and claimed his reward. The Governor was also 
a Venetian, and not over-desirous of parting with his lands now that the 
danger seemed to be over. But Marco knew his Greeks by this time, and 
readily entered into a plot with a Cretan chief for the conquest of the 
island. Candia was speedily his, while the Governor had to escape in 
woman's clothes to the fortress of Temenos. But, just as he seemed 
likely to annex Crete to his Duchy, Venetian reinforcements arrived. 
Unable to carry out his design, he yet succeeded by his diplomacy in 
securing an amnesty and pecuniary compensation, with which he 
retired to his island domain. But the failure of his Cretan adventure did 
not in the least damp his ardour. With only eight ships he boldly attacked 



164 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

the squadron of the Emperor of Nice, nearly four times as numerous. 
Captured and carried as a prisoner to the Nicene Court, he so greatly 
impressed the Emperor by his courage and manly beauty that the latter 
ordered his release, and gave him one of the princesses of the imperial 
house in marriage. In short, his career was that of a typical Venetian 
adventurer, brave, hard-headed, selfish, and unscrupulous; in fact, just 
the sort of man to found a dynasty in a part of the world where clever- 
ness counts for more than heroic simplicity of character. 

During the long and peaceful reign of his son Angelo, little occurred 
to disturb the progress of the Duchy. But its external relations under- 
went a change at this time, in consequence of the transference of the 
suzerainty over it from the weak Emperor of Romania to the powerful 
Prince of Achaia, Geoff roy II, as a reward for Geoff roy's assistance in 
defending the Latin Empire against the Greeks. Angelo, too, equipped 
three galleys for the defence of Constantinople, and, after its fall, sent 
a handsome present to the exiled Emperor. Like his father, he was 
summoned to aid the Venetian Governor of Crete against the native 
insurgents, but on the approach of the Nicene fleet he cautiously with- 
drew. His son, Marco II, who succeeded him in 1262, found himself face 
to face with a more difficult situation than that which had prevailed in 
the times of his father and grandfather. The Greeks had recovered 
ground not only at Constantinople, but in the south-east of the Morea, 
and their successes were repeated on a smaller scale in the Archipelago. 
Licario, the Byzantine admiral, captured many of the JEgean islands, 
some of which remained thenceforth part of the imperial dominions. 
Besides the Sanudi, the dynasty of the Ghisi, lords of Tenos and 
Mykonos, alone managed to hold its own against the Greek invasion; 
yet even the Ghisi suffered considerably from the attacks of the re- 
doubtable admiral. One member of that family was fond of applying 
to himself the O vidian line, "I am too big a man to be harmed by 
fortune," and his subjects on the island of Skopelos, which has lately 
been notorious as the place of exile of Royalist politicians, used to boast 
that, even if the whole realm of Romania fell, they would escape 
destruction. But Licario, who knew that Skopelos lacked water, 
invested it during a hot summer, forced it to capitulate, and sent the 
haughty Ghisi in chains to Constantinople. Marco II had to quell an 
insurrection of the Greeks at Melos, who thought that the time had come 
for shaking off the Latin yoke. Educated at the court of Guillaume de 
Villehardouin, Marco had imbibed the resolute methods of that energetic 
prince, and he soon showed that he did not intend to relax his hold on 
what his grandfather had seized. Aided by a body of Frank fugitives 



THE DUCHY OF NAXOS 165 

from Constantinople, he reduced the rebels to submission, and pardoned 
all of them with the exception of a Greek priest whom he suspected of 
being the cause of the revolt. This man he is said to have ordered to be 
bound hand and foot, and then thrown into the harbour of Melos. 

Towards the orthodox clergy Marco II was, if we may believe the 
Jesuit historian of the Duchy, by no means so tolerant as his two 
predecessors 1 . There was, it seems, in the island of Naxos an altar 
dedicated to St Pachys, a portly man of God, who was believed by the 
devout Naxiotes to have the power of making their children fat. In the 
East fatness is still regarded as a mark of comeliness, and in the thirteenth 
century St Pachys was a very popular personage, whose altar was 
visited by loving mothers, and whose hierophants lived upon the 
credulity of the faithful. Marco II regarded this institution as a gross 
superstition. Had he been a wise statesman, he would have tolerated it 
all the same, and allowed the matrons of Naxos to shove their offspring 
through the hollow altar of the fat saint, so long as no harm ensued to 
his State. But Marco II was not wise ; he smashed the altar, and thereby 
so irritated his Orthodox subjects that he had to build a fortress to keep 
them in order. But the Greeks were not the only foes who menaced the 
Duchy at this period. The Archipelago had again become the happy 
hunting-ground of pirates of all nationalities — Greek corsairs from the 
impregnable rock of Monemvasia or from the islands of Santorin and 
Keos, Latins like Roger de Lluria, the famous Sicilian admiral, who 
preyed on their fellow-religionists, mongrels who combined the vices of 
both their parents. The first place among the pirates of the time belonged 
to the Genoese, the natural rivals of the Venetians in the Levant, and 
on that account popular with the Greek islanders. No sooner was a 
Genoese galley spied in the offing than the peasants would hurry down 
with provisions to the beach, just as the Calabrian peasants have been 
known to give food to notorious brigands. The result of these visitations 
on the smaller islands may be easily imagined : thus the inhabitants of 
Amorgos emigrated in a body to Naxos from fear of the corsairs; yet, 
in spite of the harm inflicted by Licario and the pirates, we are told that 
the fertile plain of Drymalia, in the interior of Naxos, " then contained 
twelve large villages, a number of farm buildings, country houses and 
towers, with about 10,000 inhabitants." Sometimes the remote con- 
sequences of the pirates' raids were worse than the raids themselves. 
Thus, on one of these expeditions, some corsairs carried off a valuable 
ass belonging to one of the Ghisi. The ass, marked with its master's 
initials, was bought by Marco IPs son, Guglielmo, who lived at Syra. 

1 Sauger, Hi&towe nouuelle des anciens Dues, p. 65. 



166 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

The purchaser was under no illusions as to the ownership of the ass, but 
was perfectly aware that he was buying stolen goods. Seeing this, Ghisi 
invaded Syra, laid the island waste, and besieged Sanudo in his castle. 
But the fate of the ass had aroused wide sympathies. Marco II had taken 
the oath of fealty to Charles of Anjou, as suzerain of Achaia, after the 
death of his liege lord, Guillaume de Villehardouin, and it chanced that 
the Angevin admiral was cruising in the Archipelago at the time of the 
rape of the ass. Feudal law compelled him to assist the son of his 
master's vassal; a lady's prayers conquered any hesitation that he might 
have felt ; so he set sail for Syra, where he soon forced Ghisi to raise the 
siege. The great ass case was then submitted to the decision of the 
Venetian bailie in Eubcea, who restored the peace of the Levant, but 
only after "more than 30,000 heavy soldi" had been expended for the 
sake of the ass ! 

After the recapture of Constantinople by the Greeks, the policy of 
Venice towards the dukes underwent a change. As we have seen, 
neither the founder of the Duchy nor his son and grandson were vassals 
of the Republic, though they were all three Venetian citizens. But the 
Venetian Government, alarmed at the commercial privileges accorded to 
its great rivals, the Genoese, by the Byzantine Emperor, now sought to 
obtain a stronger military and commercial position in the Archipelago, 
and, if possible, to acquire direct authority over the Duchy. An excuse 
for the attempt was offered by the affairs of Andros. That island had 
been bestowed by Marco I as a sub-fief of Naxos upon Marino Dandolo. 
Marco II resumed immediate possession of it after the death of Dandolo's 
widow, and refused to grant her half of the island to her son by a second 
marriage, Nicolo Quirini, on the plausible plea that he arrived to do 
homage after the term allowed by the feudal law had expired. But 
Quirini was a Venetian bailie, and accordingly appealed to Venice for 
justice. The Doge summoned Marco II to make defence before the Senate ; 
but Marco replied that Venice was not his suzerain, that the ducal Court 
at Naxos, and not the Senate at Venice, was the proper tribunal to 
try the case, and that he would be happy to afford the claimant all 
proper facilities for pleading his cause if he would appear there. The 
question then dropped; Marco remained in possession of Andros, while 
the Republic waited for a more favourable opportunity of advancing its 
political interests in the Archipelago. 

This opportunity was not long in coming. Towards the end of the 
thirteenth century a violent war broke out between Venice and her 
Genoese rivals, supported by the Byzantine Emperor. While the Genoese 
tried to undermine Venetian power in Crete, Venice let loose a new swarm 



THE DUCHY OF NAXOS 167 

of privateers on the islands of the iEgean, which Licario had recovered 
for the Byzantines. Then for the first time we meet with the word 
armatoloi, so famous in the later history of Greece, applied originally to 
the outfitters, or armatores, of privateers. The dispossessed Venetian 
lords were thus enabled to reconquer many of the possessions which 
they had then lost; Amorgos, the birthplace of Simonides, was restored 
to the Ghisi, Santorin and Therasia to the Barozzi, but only on con- 
dition that they recognised the suzerainty of the Republic. This arrange- 
ment was contested by the Duke of the Archipelago, on the ground that 
those islands had originally been sub-fiefs of his ancestors' dominions. 
Guglielmo Sanudo, the purchaser of the ass, had now succeeded to the 
Duchy, and, as might have been inferred from that story, was not likely 
to be over-scrupulous in his methods. As one of the Barozzi declined to 
do him homage, he had him arrested by corsairs on the high seas, and 
threw him into the ducal dungeon at Naxos. This was more than Venice 
could stand, for this scion of the Barozzi had been Venetian governor of 
Candia. An ultimatum was therefore despatched to the Duke, bidding 
him send his captive to Eubcea within eight days, under pain of being 
treated as a pirate. This message had the desired effect. Guglielmo let 
his prisoner go, and it was seen that the name of Venice was more 
powerful than before in the Archipelago. But neither Venice nor the 
Duke could prevent the increasing desolation of the islands. The Catalans 
had now appeared in the Levant ; in 1303 they ravaged Keos ; after their 
establishment in the Duchy of Athens they organised a raid on Melos, 
from which, like the Athenians of old, they carried off numbers of the 
inhabitants as slaves. A Spaniard from Corurla, Januli da Corogna, 
occupied Siphnos, and two of the leading families in Santorin to-day are 
of Catalan origin. A member of one of them, Dr De Cigalla, or Dekigallas, 
as he is called in Greek, is a voluminous author, and a great authority on 
the eruptions of that volcanic island. Turkish squadrons completed the 
work of destruction; we hear of a new exodus from Amorgos in con- 
sequence of their depredations, but this time the frightened islanders 
preferred to seek refuge under the Venetian banner in Crete rather than 
in Naxos. The latter island was, indeed, no longer so secure as it had 
been. True, Duke Guglielmo had welcomed the establishment of the 
warlike knights of St John at Rhodes, and had helped them to conquer 
that stronghold, in the hope that they would be able to ward off the 
Turks from his dominions. Venice, too, had come to see that her wisest 
policy was to strengthen the Naxiote Duchy, and furnished both the next 
Dukes, Nicolo I and Giovanni I, with arms for its protection. But, all 
the same, in 1344 the dreaded Turks effected a landing on Naxos, 



168 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

occupied the capital, and dragged away 6000 of the islanders to captivity. 
This misfortune increased the panic of the peasants throughout the 
Archipelago. They fled in greater numbers than ever to Crete, so that 
Giovanni complained at Venice of the depopulation of his islands, and 
asked for leave to bring back the emigrants. Even the fine island of 
Andros, which had formerly produced more wheat and barley than it 
could consume, was now forced to import grain from Eubcea, while many 
of the proprietors in other parts of the iEgean had to procure labour 
from the Morea. In fact, towards the middle of the fourteenth century, 
such security as existed in the Levant was due solely to the presence of 
the Venetian fleet in Cretan and Eubcean waters, and to a policy such 
as that which conferred upon the historian, Andrea Dandolo, the islet 
of Gaidaronisi, to the south of Crete, on condition that he should fortify 
its harbour against the assaults of pirates. Naturally, at such a time, 
it was the manifest advantage of the Naxiote Dukes to tighten the 
alliance with Venice. Accordingly we find Giovanni I preparing to 
assist the Venetians in their war with the Genoese, when the latter 
suddenly swooped down upon his capital and carried him off as a prisoner 
to Genoa. 

In 1361, a few years after his release, Giovanni I died, leaving an 
only daughter, Fiorenza, as Duchess of the Archipelago. It was the first 
time that this romantic State had been governed by a woman, and, 
needless to say, there was no lack of competitors for the hand of the rich 
and beautiful young widow. During her father's lifetime Fiorenza had 
married one of the Eubcean family of Dalle Carceri, which is often 
mentioned in mediaeval Greek history, and she had a son by this union, 
who afterwards succeeded her in the Duchy. Over her second marriage 
there now raged a diplomatic battle, which was waged by Venice with 
all the unscrupulousness shown by that astute Republic whenever its 
supremacy was at stake. The first of this mediaeval Penelope's suitors 
was a Genoese, one of the merchant adventurers, or maonesi, who held 
the rich island of Chios much as a modern chartered company holds parts 
of Africa under the suzerainty of the home Government. To his candi- 
dature Venice was, of course, strongly opposed, as it would have been 
fatal to Venetian interests to have this citizen of Genoa installed at 
Naxos. Fiorenza was therefore warned not to bestow her hand upon an 
enemy of the Republic, when so many eligible husbands could be found 
at Venice or in the Venetian colonies of Eubcea and Crete. At the same 
time, the Venetian bailie of Eubcea was instructed to hinder by fair 
means or foul the Genoese marriage. Fiorenza meekly expressed her 
willingness to many a person approved by Venice, but soon afterwards 



THE DUCHY OF NAXOS 169 

showed a desire to accept the suit of Nerio Acciajuoli, the subsequent 
Duke of Athens. This alliance the Republic vetoed with the same 
emphasis as the former one; but Nerio was an influential man, who had 
powerful connections in the kingdom of Naples, and was therefore able 
to obtain the consent of Robert of Taranto, at that time suzerain of the 
Duchy. That Robert was Fiorenza's suzerain could not be denied; but 
Venice replied that she was also a daughter of the Republic, that her 
ancestors had won the Duchy under its auspices, had been protected 
by its fleets, and owed their existence to its resources. What, it was 
added, have the Angevins of Naples done, or what can they do, for 
Naxos? Simultaneous orders were sent to the commander of the 
Venetian fleet in Greek waters to oppose, by force if necessary, the 
landing of Nerio in that island. The Venetian agents in the Levant had, 
however, no need of further instructions. They knew what was expected 
of them, and were confident that their action, if successful, would not be 
disowned. Fiorenza was kidnapped, placed on board a Venetian galley, 
and quietly conveyed to Crete. There she was treated with every mark 
of respect, but was at the same time plainly informed that if she wished 
ever to see her beloved Naxos again she must marry her cousin Nicolo 
Sanudo " Spezzabanda," the candidate of the Republic and son of a 
large proprietor in Eubcea. The daring of this young man, to which he 
owed his nickname of "Spezzabanda," "the disperser of a host," may 
have impressed the susceptible Duchess no less than the difficulties of 
her position. At any rate she consented to marry him, the wedding was 
solemnised at Venice, the Republic pledged itself to protect the Duchy 
against all its enemies, and granted to Santorin, which had been recon- 
quered by Duke Nicolo I, the privilege of exporting cotton and corn to 
the Venetian lagoons. Venice had won all along the line, and when the 
much-wooed Duchess died, "Spezzabanda" acted as regent for his 
stepson, Nicolo II dalle Carceri. He showed his gratitude to his Venetian 
patrons by assisting in suppressing the great Cretan insurrection of this 
period. He also defended Eubcea against the Catalans of Athens, 
showing himself ready to fight for the rights of young Nicold whenever 
occasion offered. 

Nicolo II was the last and worst of the Sanudi Dukes. From his 
father he had inherited two-thirds of Eubcea, which interested him more 
than his own Duchy, but at the same time involved him in disputes with 
Venice. Chafing at the tutelage of the Republic, he selected the moment 
when Venice was once more engaged in war with Genoa, to negotiate 
with the Navarrese company of mercenaries then in Central Greece for 
its aid in the conquest of the whole island of Eubcea. This attempt 



170 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

failed, and, so far from increasing his dominions, Nicold diminished them 
in other directions. We have seen how Andros had been reunited with 
Naxos by Marco II. The new Duke now bestowed it as a sub-fief upon 
his half-sister, Maria Sanudo, thus severing its direct connection with 
his Duchy. Nor was he more cautious in his internal policy. He aroused 
the strongest resentment among his subjects, Greeks and Franks alike, 
by his extortion, and they found a ready leader in a young Italian who 
had lately become connected by marriage with the Sanudo family. This 
man, Francesco Crispo — a name which suggested to biographers of the 
late Italian Prime Minister a possible relationship — was a Lombard who 
had emigrated to Eubcea and had then obtained the lordship of Melos 
by his union with the daughter of Giovanni I's brother Marco, who had 
received that island as a sub-fief of Naxos, and under whom it had 
greatly prospered. Crispo chanced to be in Naxos at the time when the 
complaints of the people were loudest, and he aspired to the fame, or 
at any rate the profits, of a tyrannicide. During one of the ducal 
hunting parties he contrived the murder of the Duke, and was at once 
accepted by the populace as his successor. Thus, in 1383, fell the 
dynasty of the Sanudi, by the hand of a Lombard adventurer, after 176 
years of power. 

Times had greatly changed since the conquest of the Archipelago, 
nor was a usurper like Crispo in a position to dispense with the pro- 
tection of Venice. He therefore begged the Republic to recognise him 
as the rightful Duke, which the astute Venetians saw no difficulty in 
doing. He further strengthened the bond of union by bestowing the 
hand of his daughter upon the rich Venetian, Pietro Zeno, who played 
a considerable part in the tortuous diplomacy of the age. Crispo did not 
hesitate to rob Maria Sanudo of Andros in order to confer it upon his 
son-in-law, and it was not for many years, and then only after wearisome 
litigation, that it reverted to her son. She was obliged to content herself 
with the islands of Paros and Antiparos, and to marry one of the 
Veronese family of Sommaripa, which now appears for the first time in 
Greek history, but which came into the possession of Andros towards the 
middle of the fifteenth century, and still flourishes at Naxos. Sure of 
Venetian support, Crispo indulged in piratical expeditions as far as the 
Syrian coast, while he swept other and less distinguished pirates from 
the sea. His son-in-law seconded his efforts against the Turks; yet, in 
spite of their united attempts, they left their possessions in a deplorable 
state. Andros had been so severely visited by the Turkish corsairs that 
it contained only 2000 inhabitants, and had to be repopulated by 
Albanian immigrants, who are still very numerous there; Ios, almost 



THE DUCHY OF NAXOS 171 

denuded of its population, was replenished by a number of families from 
the Morea. Although the next Duke, Giacomo I, was known as "The 
Pacific," and paid tribute to the Sultan on condition that no Turkish 
ships should visit his islands, he was constantly menaced by Bayezid I. 
In his distress, like the Emperor Manuel, he turned to Henry IV of 
England, whom he visited in London in 1404. Henry was not able to 
assist him, though he had at one time intended to lead an army " as far 
as to the sepulchre of Christ"; but, when Henry Beaufort, Bishop of 
Winchester, made a pilgrimage to Palestine in 1418, he was conveyed 
back to Venice on one of Pietro Zeno's galleys. This was, so far as we 
have been able to discover, the only connection between England and 
the Duchy. In the same year Giacomo died at Ferrara, on his way to see 
the Pope, the natural protector of the Latins in the Levant. 

During the greater part of the fifteenth century the history of the 
Archipelago presents a monotonous series of family feuds and Turkish 
aggression. The subdivision of the islands, in order to provide appanages 
for the younger members of some petty reigning dynasty, was a source 
of weakness, which recalls the mediaeval annals of Germany, nor did 
there arise among the Dukes of this period a strong man like the founder 
of the Duchy. One of them was advised by Venice to make the best 
terms that he could with the Sultan, though complaints were made that 
he had failed to warn the Venetian bailie of Euboea of the approaching 
Turkish fleet, by means of beacon-fires — an incident which takes us back 
to the Agamemnon of iEschylus. The fall of Constantinople, followed by 
the capture of Lesbos and Euboea by the Turks, greatly alarmed the 
Dukes, who drew closer than ever to the Venetian Republic, and were 
usually included in all the Venetian treaties. Other misfortunes greatly 
injured the islands. The Genoese plundered Naxos and Andros, and the 
volcanic island of Santorin was the scene of a great eruption in 1457, 
which threw up a new islet in the port. A few years later, Santorin had 
suffered so much from one cause or another that it contained no more 
than 300 inhabitants. An earthquake followed this eruption, further 
increasing the misery of the Archipelago. But this was the age of 
numerous religious foundations, some of them still in existence, such as 
the church of Sant' Antonio at Naxos, which was bestowed upon the 
Knights of St John, as their arms on its walls remind the traveller. It 
was about this time too that Cyriacus of Ancona, after copying in- 
scriptions at Athens, visited Andros and other islands of the JEgea.11. 
The island rulers not only received him courteously, but ordered excava- 
tions to be made for his benefit — a proof of culture which should be set 
against their wanton destruction of ancient buildings, in order to 



172 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

provide materials for their own palaces — a practice of which the tower 
at Paros is so striking an example. When we remember that each petty 
lord considered it necessary to be well lodged, the extent of these 
ravages may be easily imagined. 

Towards the close of the fifteenth century the condition of the 
islanders had become intolerable, and matters came to a climax under 
the rule of Giovanni III. That despotic Duke incurred the displeasure 
not only of the Sultan, but also of his own subjects. The former com- 
plained that he had fallen into arrears with his tribute — for the Dukes 
had long had to purchase independence by the payment of bakshish — 
and that he harboured corsairs, who plundered the Asian coast. The 
latter grumbled at the heavy taxes which the Duke pocketed without 
doing anything for the protection of his people. The Archbishop of Naxos 
made himself the mouthpiece of popular discontent, and wrote to 
Venice, in the name of the people of Naxos and Paros, offering to ac- 
knowledge the suzerainty of the Republic. Venice replied, authorising 
him to point out to the/Duke and to Sommaripa, the lord of Paros, the 
utter hopelessness of their present position, and to offer them an 
assured income for the rest of their lives if they would cede their islands 
to a Venetian commissioner. But the negotiations failed ; the Naxiotes, 
driven to despair, took the law into their own hands, and in 1494 
murdered their Duke. The Archbishop then proceeded to Venice, and 
persuaded the Senate to take over the Duchy, at least till the late Duke's 
son, Francesco, came of age. During the next six years Venetian Com- 
missioners administered the islands, which were, however, loyally 
handed over to Francesco III at the end of that time. The new Duke 
proved unfortunately to be a homicidal maniac, who killed his wife and 
tried to kill his heir. As a consequence he was removed to Crete and a 
second brief Venetian occupation lasted during the rest of his successor's 
minority 1 . The long reign of his son, Giovanni IV, who, soon after his 
accession, was captured by Turkish pirates while on a hunting party, 
lasted till 1564 and witnessed the loss of many of the ^Egean islands. 
That great sovereign, Suleyman the Magnificent, now sat upon the 
Turkish throne, and his celebrated admiral, Khaireddin Barbarossa, 
spread fire and sword through many a Christian village. In 1537 the 
classic island of JEgina, still under Venetian domination, was visited by 
this terrible scourge, who massacred all the adult male population, and 
took away 6000 women and children as slaves. So complete was the 
destruction of the iEginetans that, when a French admiral touched at 
the island soon afterwards, he found it devoid of inhabitants. There, as 
1 See The Mad Duke of Naxos. 



THE DUCHY OF NAXOS 173 

usual, an Albanian immigration replenished, at least to some extent, the 
devastated sites, but Mgina. was long in recovering some small measure 
of its former prosperity. Thence Barbarossa sailed to Naxos, whence he 
carried off an immense booty, compelling the Duke to purchase his 
further independence — if such it could be called — by a tribute of 5000 
ducats, and submitting him to the ignominy of seeing the furniture of 
his own palace sent on board the Admiral's flagship under his very eyes. 
The horrible scenes of those days would seem to have impressed them- 
selves deeply upon the mind of the wretched Duke, who gave vent to his 
feelings in a bitter letter of complaint to the Pope and other Christian 
princes. This curious document urged them to " apply their ears and lift 
up their eyes, and attend with their minds while their own interests were 
still safe," and reminded them of the evils caused by discord in the 
councils of Christendom. The Duke emphasised his admirable truisms, 
which might have been addressed to the Concert of Europe at any time 
during the last fifty years, by a well-worn tag from Sallust — Sallustius 
Crispus, "the author of our race." But neither his platitudes nor his 
allusion to his distinguished ancestry, which he might have had some 
difficulty in proving, availed him. The Turks went on in their career of 
conquest. Paros was annexed, Andros was forced to pay tribute, the 
Venetians lost Skiathos and Skopelos, and by the shameful treaty of 
1540 forfeited the prestige which they had so long wielded in the 
Levant. 

The Duchy of Naxos had long existed by the grace of the Venetian 
Republic, and, now that Venice *had been crippled, its days were 
numbered. The capture of Chios in 1566 was the signal for its dissolution. 
As soon as the news arrived in Naxos and Andros that the Turks had 
put an end to the rule of the joint-stock company of the Giustiniani in 
that fertile island, the Greeks of the Duchy complained to the Sultan of 
the exactions to which they were subjected by their Frank lords. There 
was some justification for their grievances, for Giacomo IV, the last 
of the Frank Dukes, was a notorious debauchee; and the conduct of the 
Catholic clergy, by the admission of a Jesuit historian, had become a 
public scandal. But the main motive of the petitioners seems to have 
been that intense hatred of Catholicism which characterised the 
Orthodox Greeks during the whole period of the Frank rule in the 
Levant, and which, as we saw under Austrian rule in Bosnia, has not 
yet wholly disappeared. Giacomo was fully aware of the delicacy of his 
position, and he resolved to convince the Turkish Government, as force 
was out of the question, by the only other argument which it under- 
stands. He collected a large sum of money, and went to Constantinople 



174 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

to reply to his accusers. But he found the ground already undermined 
by the artifices of the (Ecumenical Patriarch, who had warmly espoused 
the cause of the Orthodox Naxiotes, and was in the confidence of the 
Turkish authorities. Giacomo had no sooner landed than he was clapped 
into prison, where he languished for five months, while the renegade, 
Piall Pasha, quietly occupied Naxos and its dependencies and drove 
the Sommaripa out of Andros. But the Greeks of the Duchy soon 
discovered that they had made an indifferent bargain. One of the most 
important banking houses of the period was that of the Nasi, which had 
business in France, the Low Countries, and Italy, and lent money to 
kings and princes. The manager of the Antwerp branch was an astute 
Portuguese Jew, who at one time called himself Joao Miquez and posed 
as a Christian, and then reverted to Judaism and styled himself Joseph 
Nasi. A marriage with a wealthy cousin made him richer than before; 
he migrated to the Turkish dominions, where Jews were very popular 
with the Sultans, and became a prime favourite of Selim II. This was the 
man on whom that sovereign now bestowed the Duchy; and thus, by a 
prosaic freak of fortune, the lovely island of classical myth and mediaeval 
romance became the property of a Jewish banker. Nasi, as a Jew, knew 
that he would be loathed by the Greeks, so he never visited his orthodox 
Duchy, but appointed a Spaniard named Coronello to act as his agent, 
and to screw as much money as possible out of the inhabitants. In this 
he was very successful. 

As soon as Giacomo IV was released he set out for the west to procure 
the aid of the Pope and Venice for the recovery of his dominions, even 
pledging himself in that event to do homage to the Republic for them. 
But, in spite of the great victory of Lepanto, the Turks remained in 
undisturbed possession of the Duchy, except for a brief restoration of 
Giacomo's authority by Venice in 1571. On the accession of Murad III 
Giacomo had hopes of obtaining his further restoration through the good 
offices of the new Sultan's mother, a native of Paros, belonging to the 
distinguished Venetian family of Baffo. But though she promised her 
aid, and he went to plead his cause in person at Constantinople, the 
Sultan was inexorable. The last of the Dukes died in the Turkish capital 
in 1576, and was buried in the Latin church there. Three years later 
Joseph Nasi died also, whereupon the Duchy was placed under the 
direct administration of the Porte. 

But though Naxos and all the important islands had been annexed 
by the Turks, there still remained a few fragments of the Latin rule in 
the Levant. The seven islands of Siphnos, Thermia, Kimolos, Polinos, 
Pholegandros, Gyaros, and Sikinos were retained by the Gozzadini 



THE DUCHY OF NAXOS 175 

family on payment of a tribute until 1617, while Venice still preserved 
Tenos as a station 1 in the Levant for a whole century more. Everywhere 
else in the JEgean. the crescent floated from the battlements of the 
castles and palaces where for three and a half centuries the Latin nobles 
had practised the arts of war. 

The occupation of the Greek islands by the Latins was unnatural, 
and, like most unnatural things, it was destined not to endure. But this 
strange meeting of two deeply interesting races in the classic seats of 
Greek lyric poetry can scarcely fail to strike the imagination. And to- 
day, when Italy is once more showing a desire to play a role in the near 
East, when Italians have officered the Cretan police, when Italian troops 
have occupied thirteen islands in the lower iEgean since 1912, including 
the old Quirini fief of Stampalia, when the Aldobrandini's thirteenth 
century possession of Adalia is being revived, and the statesmen of Rome 
are looking wistfully across the Adriatic, it is curious to go back to the 
times when Venetian and Lombard families held sway among the islands 
of the JEgean, and the Latin galleys, flying the pennons of those petty 
princes, glided in and out of the harbours of that classic sea. Even in her 
middle age Greece had her romance, and no fitter place could have been 
chosen for it than "the wave-beat shore of Naxos." 



APPENDIX 
THE MAD DUKE OF NAXOS 

Subsequent historians of the Duchy of Naxos have accepted without 
question Hopf's 2 chronology and brief description of the reign of 
Francesco III Crispo, who was formally proclaimed duke, after a brief 
Venetian protectorate, in October 1500. According to the German 
scholar, who is followed by Count Mas Latrie 3 , Francesco III "quietly 
governed" his island domain down to 15 18, the only incident in his 
career being his capture by Turkish corsairs while hunting in 15 17. His 
wife, according to the same authorities, had already predeceased him, 
having died "before 1501." But a perusal of Sanuto's Diarii shows that 
all these statements are wrong. Francesco III, so far from "quietly 
governing" his subjects, was a homicidal maniac, who murdered his 
wife in 15 10 and died in the following year. 

We first hear of the duke's madness in 1509, when he and his brother- 

1 See The Last Venetian Islands in the JEgean. 

% Geschichte Griechenlands, apud Ersch und Gruber, Allgemeine Encyklopadie, 
lxxxvi. 166; Chroniques grSco-romanes, p. 482; Veneto-Byzantinische Analekten, 
p. 414. 

3 Les Dues de I'Archipel, p. 13, in the Venetian Miscellanea, vol. iv. 



176 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

in-law, Antonio Loredano, were on board the ducal galley, then engaged 
in the Venetian service at Trieste. The duke was put in custody at San 
Michele di Murano, but was subsequently released and allowed to return 
to Naxos *. There, as we learn from two separate accounts, one sent to 
the Venetian authorities in Crete by the community of Naxos, the other 
sent to Venice by Antonio da Pesaro, Venetian governor of Andros, the 
duke had a return of the malady 2 . On August 15, 1510, he was more 
than usually affectionate to his wife, Taddea Loredano, to whom he 
had been married fourteen years, and who is described by one of the 
Venetian ambassadors as " a lady of wisdom and great talent 3 ." Having 
inveigled the duchess to his side "by songs, kisses, and caresses," he 
seized his sword and tried to slay her. The terrified woman fled, just as 
she was, in her nightdress, out of the ducal palace, and took refuge in 
the house of her aunt, Lucrezia Loredano, Lady of Nio. Thither, in the 
night of Saturday, August 17, her husband pursued her; he burst open 
the doors, and entered the bedroom, where he found the Lady of Nio and 
her daughter-in-law, to whom he gave three severe blows each. Mean- 
while, on hearing the noise, the duchess had hidden under a wash-tub; 
a slave betrayed her hiding-place, and the duke struck her over the head 
with his sword. In the attempt to parry the blow, she seized the blade in 
her hands, and fell fainting on the ground, where her miserable assailant 
gave her a thrust in the stomach. She lived the rest of the night and the 
next day, while the duke fled to his garden, whence he was induced by 
the citizens to return to the palace. There, as he sat at meat with his son 
Giovanni, he heard from one of the servants that the people wished to 
depose him and put Giovanni in his place. In a paroxysm of rage, he 
seized a knife to kill his son ; but his arm was held, and the lad saved 
himself by leaping from the balcony. The duke tried to escape to Rhodes, 
but he was seized, after a struggle in which he was wounded, and sent 
to Santorin. His son Giovanni IV was proclaimed duke, and as he could 
not have been more than eleven years old — his birth is spoken of as 
imminent 4 in May 1499 — a governor of the duchy was elected in the 
person of Jacomo Dezia, whom we may identify with Giacomo I 
Gozzadini, baron of the island of Zia, who is mentioned as being present 
in the ducal palace at Naxos, in a document 5 of 1500, whose family had 
a mansion there, and who had already been governor in 1507. From 
Santorin, Francesco III was removed on a Venetian ship to Candia, 
where, as we learn from letters of August 15, 1511, he died of fever 6 . 

1 Sanuto, Diarii, vm. 328, 337, 355, 366. 

2 Ibid., xi. 393, 394, 705. 8 Ibid., 11. 701. * Ibid. 

6 Hopf, Gozzadini, apud Ersch und Gruber, op. cit., lxxvi. 425; lxxxvi. 166. 
6 Sanuto, Diarii, xn. 22, 175, 503. 






THE DUCHY OF NAXOS 177 

Meanwhile, on October 18, 15 10, it had been proposed at Venice 
that the mad duke's brother-in-law, Antonio Loredano, should be sent 
as governor to Naxos, with a salary of 400 ducats a year, payable out 
of the revenues, just as Venetian governors had been sent there during 
the minority of Francesco III. Loredano sailed on January 16, 1511, 
for his post, where he remained for four and a half years l . Naxos, in his 
time, cannot have been a gloomy exile, for we hear of the "balls and 
festivals with the accompaniment of very polished female society " which 
greeted the Venetian ambassador 2 . We do not learn who governed the 
duchy between July 15 15, when Loredano returned to Venice, and the 
coming of age of Duke Giovanni IV, which seems to have been in May 
15 17. On May 6 of that year he wrote a letter to the Cretan government, 
signed Joannes Crispus dux Egeo Pelagi, which Sanuto has preserved 3 ; 
and in the same summer il ducha di Nixia, domino Zuan Crespo, was 
captured by corsairs while hunting, and subsequently ransomed 4 — 
an adventure which Hopf, as we have seen, wrongly ascribed to Fran- 
cesco III. 

7. CRETE UNDER THE VENETIANS 
(1204-1669) 

Of all the Levantine possessions acquired by Venice as the result 
of the Fourth Crusade, by far the most important was the great 
island of Crete, which she obtained in August, 1204, from Boniface of 
Montferrat to whom it had been given 15 months earlier by Alexios IV, 
at the cost of 1000 marks of silver. At that time the population of the 
island, which in antiquity is supposed to have been a million, was 
probably about 500,000 or 6oo,ooo 5 . Lying on the way to Egypt and 
Syria, it was an excellent stopping-place for the Venetian merchantmen, 
and the immense sums of money expended upon its defence prove the 
value which the shrewd statesmen of the lagoons set upon it. Whether 
its retention was really worth the enormous loss of blood and treasure 
which it involved may perhaps be doubted, though in our own days the 
Concert of Europe has thought fit to spend about thrice the value of the 
island in the process of freeing it from the Turk. What distinguishes the 
mediaeval history of Crete from that of the other Frank possessions in 
the Near East is the almost constant insubordination of the Cretan 
population. While in the Duchy of Athens we scarcely hear of any 

1 Sanuto, Diavii, xi. 450, 525, 748; xn. 175; xx. 354, 356, 376. 

2 Ibid., xvii. 35. 8 Ibid., xxiv. 380, 384, 387-ii. 
4 Ibid., xxiv. 467, 596, 645; xxv. 158, 185. 

6 Stavrakes, STarwrri/frj rod ir\ridv<rfiov rrjs Kpr)Tr)s, 183 sqqr, Pashley, Travels in 
Crete, 11. 326. 



178 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

restlessness on the part of the Greeks, while in the Principality of Achaia 
they gave comparatively little trouble, while in the Archipelago they 
seldom murmured against their Dukes — in Crete, on the other hand, one 
insurrection followed another in rapid succession, and the first t6o years 
of Venetian rule are little else than a record of insurrections. The masters 
of the island explained this by the convenient theory, applied in our own 
time to the Irish, that the Cretans had a double dose of original sin, and 
the famous verse of Epimenides, to which the New Testament has given 
undying reputation, must have been often in the mouths of Venetian 
statesmen. But there were other and more natural reasons for the 
stubborn resistance of the islanders. After the reconquest of Crete by 
Nikephoros Phokas, the Byzantine Government had sent thither many 
members of distinguished military families, and their descendants, the 
archontes of the island at the time of the Venetian invasion, furnished 
the leaders for these perennial revolts 1 . Moreover, the topography of 
Crete is admirably suited for guerilla warfare; the combination of an 
insular with a highland spirit constitutes a double gage of independence, 
and what the Venetians regarded as a vice the modern Greeks reckon as 
a virtue. 

Even before the Venetians had had time to take possession of the 
island, their great rivals, the Genoese, had established a colony there, 
so that it was clear from the outset that Venice was not the only Latin 
Power desirous of obtaining Crete. The first landing of the Venetians was 
effected at Spinalonga, where a small colony was founded. But, before 
the rest of the island could be annexed, a Genoese citizen, Enrico 
Pescatore, Count of Malta, one of the most daring seamen of his age, 
had set foot in Crete in 1206 at the instigation of Genoa, and invited the 
Cretans to join his standard. He easily made himself master of the 
island, over which he endeavoured to strengthen his hold by the 
restoration or construction of fourteen fortresses, still remaining, 
although in ruins. A larger force was then despatched from Venice, 
which drove out the Maltese adventurer, who appealed to the Pope as 
a faithful servant of the Church, and continued to trouble the conquerors 
for some years more 2 . In 1207 Tiepolo had been appointed the first 
Venetian Governor, or Duke, as he was styled, of Crete; but it was not 
till the armistice with Genoa in 12 12 that the first comprehensive attempt 
at colonisation was made, and the organisation of a Cretan Government 
was undertaken. According to the feudal principles then in vogue, 

1 Paparregopoulos, 'Iffropla rod 'EWijpikov "EOvovs, v. 3. Cf. Gerland, Histoire 
de la Noblesse critoise au Moyen Age. 

a Cf. Gerola, La dominazione genovese in Creta. 



CRETE UNDER THE VENETIANS 179 

which a century earlier had been adopted for the colonisation of the 
Holy Land, the island was divided into 132 knights' fiefs (a number 
subsequently raised to 200, and then to 230) and 48 sergeants' or foot 
soldiers' fiefs, and volunteers were invited to take them. The former 
class of lands was bestowed on Venetian nobles, the latter on ordinary 
citizens; but in both cases the fiefs became the permanent property of 
the holders, who could dispose of them by will or sale, provided that 
they bequeathed or sold them to Venetians. The nobles received houses 
in Candia, the Venetian capital (which now gave its name to the whole 
island), as well as pasture for their cattle, the State reserving to itself 
the direct ownership of the strip of coast in which Candia lay, the fort of 
Temenos and its precincts, and any gold or silver mines that might 
hereafter be discovered. The division of the island into six parts, or 
sestieri, was modelled, like the whole scheme of administration, on the 
arrangements of the city of Venice, where the sestieri still survive. So 
close was the analogy between the colonial and the metropolitan divisions 
that the colonists of each sestiere in Crete sprang from the same sestiere 
at Venice — a system which stimulated local feeling. At the head of each 
sestiere an official known as a capitano was placed, while the government 
of the colony was carried on by a greater and a lesser Council of the 
colonists, by two Councillors representing the Doge, and by the Duke, 
who usually held office for two years. The first batch of colonists was 
composed of twenty-six citizens and ninety-four nobles of the Republic, 
the latter drawn from some of the best Venetian families. But it is 
curious that, while we still find descendants of Venetian houses in the 
Cyclades and at Corfu, scarcely a trace of them remains in Crete 1 . As 
for ecclesiastical matters, always of such paramount importance in the 
Levant, the existing system was adopted by the newcomers. Candia 
remained an archbishopric, under which the ten bishoprics of the island 
were placed; but the churches, with two temporary exceptions, were 
occupied by the Latin clergy, and that body was required, no less than 
the laity, to contribute its quota of taxation towards the defence of the 
capital 2 . Although we hear once or twice of a Greek bishop in Crete, 
the usual practice was to allow no orthodox ecclesiastic above the rank 
of a protopapds to reside at Candia, while Greek priests had to seek 
consecration from the bishops of the nearest Venetian colonies. But, as 
the Venetian colonists in course of time became Hellenised and embraced 
the Orthodox faith, the original organisation of the Latin church was 

1 Hopf, in Ersch und Gruber's Allgemeine Encyklopadie, vol. 85, pp. 221-2, 
2 4 I- 3. 3 I2_ 4; Paparregopoulos, v. 52. 

2 Cf. Gerola, Per la Cronotassi dei vescovi cretesi all' epoca veneta; Monutnenti 
veneti nell' isola di Creta, 11. 64, 67. 



180 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

found to be too large, so that, at the time of the Turkish conquest, the 
Latin Archbishop of Candia with his four suffragans represented Roman 
Catholicism in the island, and outside the four principal towns there was 
scarcely a Catholic to be found. 

The division of the island into fiefs naturally caused much bad blood 
among the natives, who objected to this appropriation of their lands. 
In 1212, the same year which witnessed the arrival of the colonists, an 
insurrection broke out under the leadership of the powerful family of the 
Hagiostephanitai. The rising soon assumed such serious proportions that 
Tiepolo called in the aid of Duke Marco I of Naxos, whose duplicity in 
this connection was narrated in a previous essay. In addition to these 
internal troubles, the Genoese and Alamanno Costa, Count of Syracuse, 
an old comrade of the Count of Malta again became active; but the 
Venetians wisely purchased the acquiescence of the Genoese in the 
existing state of things by valuable concessions, the chief of which was 
the recognition of Genoa's former privileges of trade with the Empire 
of Romania, and imprisoned Costa in an iron cage. From that moment, 
save for two brief raids in 1266 and 1293, Genoa abandoned the idea of 
contesting her rival's possession of Crete. In the same year, however, 
only five years after the first rising, a fresh Cretan insurrection, due to 
the high-handed action of the Venetian officials, caused the proud 
Republic of St Mark to admit the necessity of conceding something to 
the islanders. The ringleaders received a number of knights' fiefs, and 
became Venetian vassals. But a further distribution of lands in the parts 
of the island hitherto unconfiscated kindled a new revolt. The rebels, 
seeing the growth of the Empire of Nice, offered their country to the 
Emperor Vatatzes if he would come and deliver them, while the Duke 
summoned the reigning sovereign of Naxos to his aid. The latter with- 
drew on the approach of the Nicene admiral, who managed to land a 
contingent in the island. Long after the admiral's departure these men 
held their own in the mountains, and it was eight years before the 
Venetians succeeded in suppressing the rising. On the death of Vatatzes, 
the Cretans seemed to have lost hope of external assistance, and no 
further attempt was made to throw off the Venetian yoke till after the 
fall of the Latin Empire of Romania. Meanwhile, in 1252, a fresh scheme 
of colonisation was carried out; ninety more knights' fiefs were granted 
in the west of the island, and the town of Canea, the present capital, was 
founded, on or near the site of the ancient Cydonia 1 ; one half of the new 

1 See Pashley, 1. 11-17, on this point. He identifies the two places, like Gerola 
(Mon. ven. 1. 17), who derives the name of Canea from \axa-vw. ("vegetable 
garden"), the first syllable being mistaken for the feminine of the article. 



CRETE UNDER THE VENETIANS 181 

city was reserved to Venice, and the other half became the property of 
the colonists. 

After the recapture of Constantinople by the Greeks, the value of the 
island became greater than ever to the Venetians. Three years after that 
event we find the Doge Zeno writing to Pope Urban IV that "the whole 
strength of the Empire" lay in Crete, while at the same time the revival 
of the Greek cause, both on the Bosporos and in the Morea, led to an 
attack upon it by the Byzantine forces. But Venice had less difficulty 
in coming to terms with the Emperor than in managing her unruly 
subjects. In 1268 the Venetian colonists rose under leaders who bore the 
honoured names of Venier and Gradenigo, demanding complete separa- 
tion from the mother country. The harsh policy of the Republic towards 
her colonies was an excuse for this outbreak ; but no further attempt of 
the kind was made for another hundred years, when the descendants of 
the Venier and the Gradenigo of 1268 headed a far more serious rebellion. 
Another Greek rising now followed, this time organised by the brothers 
Chortatzai, but the Venetians had now succeeded in winning over a 
party among the Cretans, including Alexios Kallerges, the richest of all 
the archontes. This man used all his local influence on the side of the 
Government ; yet even so the rebellion continued for several years, and 
at times threatened to gain the upper hand. One Venetian Governor was 
lured into the mountains, surprised, and slain; another was driven 
behind the walls of Candia, and only saved from capture by the fidelity 
of the Greek inhabitants of that district. At last adequate reinforce- 
ments arrived, the Chortatzai were banished from the island, and the 
castle of Selino was erected to overawe the rebels in their part of the 
country. Peace then reigned for a few years, and the conciliatory policy 
of the next Governor earned for him the title of "the good" Duke from 
the Cretan subjects of the Republic. 

But the calm was soon disturbed by a fresh outbreak. In 1283 the 
same Alexios Kallerges who had been so valuable an auxiliary of Venice 
in the last rising inaugurated a rebellion which, arising out of the 
curtailment of his own family privileges, spread to the whole island and 
lasted for sixteen years. The home Government made the mistake of 
under-estimating the importance of this movement, which it neglected 
to suppress at the outset by the despatch of large bodies of men. As 
usual, the insurgents operated in the mountains, whence the Venetians 
were unable to dislodge them, while the Genoese laid Canea in ashes in 
1293, and tried to establish relations with the insurrectionary chief. But 
Kallerges was not disposed to exchange the rule of one Italian State for 
that of another, and, as he saw at last that he could not shake off the 



182 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

Venetian yoke single-handed, he came to terms with the Governor. His 
patriotic refusal of the Genoese offers had excited the admiration of the 
Venetians, who were ready to make concessions to one whom Genoa 
could not seduce. He was allowed to keep the fiefs which the Angeloi had 
granted in the Byzantine days to his family, he was created a knight, 
and his heirs received permission to intermarry with Venetians — a 
practice absolutely prohibited as a rule in Venetian colonies. It is 
pleasant to be able to record that both parties to this treaty kept their 
word. Kallerges on his death-bed bade his four sons remain true to 
Venice; one of his grandsons fought in her cause, and his descendants 
were rewarded with the title of patricians — at that time a rare dis- 
tinction. These frequent insurrections, combined with the horrors of 
plague and famine, do not seem to have permanently injured the 
resources of the island, nor were the ravages of corsairs, fitted out by the 
Catalans of Attica in the early part of the fourteenth century, felt much 
beyond the coast. At any rate, in 1320 such was the prosperity of the 
colony that the Governor was able to remit a large surplus to Venice 
after defraying the costs of administration. But the harsh policy of the 
Republic gradually alienated the colonists as well as the natives. A 
demand for ship-money caused a fresh rebellion of the Greeks in 1333, 
in which one of the Kallergai fought for, and another of them against, 
the Venetian Government. Eight years later a member of that famous 
Cretan family, forgetting the patriotic conduct of his great ancestor, 
entered into negotiations with the Turks; but he was invited to a parley 
by the Venetian Governor, who had him arrested as a traitor and thrown 
in a sack into the sea. This act of c^ielty and treachery had the effect 
of embittering and prolonging the Cretan resistance, so that the 
Venetians soon held nothing in the island except the capital and a few 
castles. At last the arrival of overwhelming reinforcements forced the 
rebel leader, Michael Psaromelingos, to bid his servant kill him, and the 
rebellion was over. The death of this chieftain has formed the subject of 
a modern Greek drama, for the Greeks of the mainland have always 
admired, and sometimes imitated, the desperate valour of their Cretan 
brethren. On the Venetians this revolt made so great an impression that 
the Duke was ordered to admit no Cretan into the Great Council of the 
island without the special permission of the Doge — an order due as much 
to the fears of the home Government as to the jealousy of the colonists. 
But the most significant feature of this insurrection was the apathy 
of the Venetian vassals in contributing their quota of horses and men 
for the defence of the island. Somewhat earlier, the knights had been 
compelled, in spite of their vigorous protests, to pay the sum which, by 



CRETE UNDER THE VENETIANS 183 

the terms of their feudal tenure, they were supposed to expend upon 
their armed followers, direct to the Exchequer, which took care to see 
that the money was properly applied. Many of the poorer among them 
now found themselves unable to provide the amounts which the 
Government required, and so became heavily indebted to the Treasury. 
It was the opinion of Venetian statesmen that Crete should be self- 
supporting, but it at last became necessary to grant a little grace to the 
impoverished debtors, some of whom had shown signs of coquetting with 
the Turks. Thus the discontented Venetian colonists, who had been 
born and trained for the most part in an island which exercises a strong 
attraction on even foreign residents, found that they had more grievances 
in common with the Greeks than bonds of union with the city of their 
ancestors. More than a century and a half had elapsed since the first 
great batch of colonists had left the lagoons for the great Greek island. 
Redress had been stubbornly refused, and it only needed a spark to set 
the whole colony ablaze. 

In 1362 a new Duke, Leonardo Dandolo, arrived at Candia with 
orders from the Venetian Senate to demand from the knights a contribu- 
tion towards the repair of the harbour there. The knights contended 
that, as the harbour would benefit trade, which was the interest of the 
Republic, while their income was exclusively derived from agriculture, 
the expense should be borne by the home Government. As the Senate 
persisted, the whole body of knights rose under the command of two 
young members of the order, Tito Venier, Lord of Cerigo — the island 
which afterwards formed part of the Septinsular Republic — and Tito 
Gradenigo, entered the Duke's palace, and put him and his Councillors 
in irons. Having arrested all the Venetian merchants whom they could 
find, the rebels then proclaimed the independence of Crete — how often 
since then has it not been announced! — appointed Marco Gradenigo, 
Tito's uncle, Duke, and elected four Councillors from their own ranks. 
In order to obtain the support of the Greeks they declared that the 
Roman Catholic ritual had ceased to exist throughout the island, and 
announced their own acceptance of the Orthodox faith. In token of the 
new order of things the Venetian insignia were torn down from all the 
public buildings, and St Mark made way for Titus, the patron saint and 
first bishop of Crete 1 . The theological argument was more than the Greeks 
could resist, and the descendants of Catholic Venetians and Orthodox 
archontes made common cause against Popery and the tax-collector. 

When the news reached Venice, it excited the utmost consternation. 
But, as no sufficient forces were available, the Republic resolved to try 

1 Zinkeisen, Geschichte des osmanischen Retches in Europa, iv. 611 et sqq. 



184 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

what persuasion could effect. A trusty Greek from the Venetian colony 
of Modon was sent to treat with the Greeks, while five commissioners 
proceeded to negotiate with the revolutionary Government at Candia. 
The commissioners were courteously heard ; but when it was found that 
they were empowered to offer nothing but an amnesty, and that only on 
condition of prompt submission to the Republic, they were plainly told 
that the liberty recently won by arms should never be sacrificed to the 
commands of the Venetian Senate. Nothing remained but to draw the 
sword, and the home Government had prudently availed itself of the 
negotiations to begin its preparations, both diplomatic and naval. All 
the Powers friendly to Venice, the Pope, the Emperor Charles IV, the 
King of France, and the Queen of Naples, even Genoa herself, forbade 
their subjects to trade with the island, and the Pope, alarmed at the 
apostasy of the colonists, addressed a pastoral to the recalcitrant 
Cretans. But neither papal arguments nor an international boycott 
could bend the stubborn minds of the insurgents. It was not till the 
arrival of the Venetian fleet and army, the latter under the command of 
Luchino dal Verme, the friend of Petrarch, who had warned him, with 
the inevitable allusions to the classic poets and to St Paul, of the 
"untruthfulness," "craft," and "deceit" of the Cretans, that the 
movement was crushed. 

The armament was of considerable size. Italy had been ransacked 
for soldiers, the Duchy of the Archipelago and Eubcea for ships, and 
Nicolo " Spezzabanda," the regent of Naxos, hastened to assist his 
Venetian patrons. Candia speedily fell, and then the commissioners who 
accompanied the military and naval forces proceeded to mete out 
punishment to the chief insurgents without mercy. Marco Gradenigo 
and two others were beheaded on the platform of the castle, where 
their corpses were ordered to remain, under penalty of the loss of a hand 
to any one who tried to remove them. The same bloody and brief 
assizes were held in Canea and Rethymno; the most guilty were 
executed, the less conspicuous were banished. Tito Venier was captured 
by Venetian ships on the high sea, and paid for his treasonable acts with 
his head; his accomplice, Tito Gradenigo, managed to escape to Rhodes, 
but died in exile. The property of the conspirators was confiscated by 
the State. 

Great was the joy at Venice when it was known that the insurrection 
had been suppressed. Three days were given up to thanksgivings and 
festivities, at which Petrarch was present, and of which he has left an 
account. Foreign powers congratulated the Republic on its success, 
while in Crete itself the new Duke ordered the celebration of May 10 



CRETE UNDER THE VENETIANS 185 

in each year — the anniversary of the capitulation of Candia — as a public 
holiday. But the peace, or perhaps we should say desolation, of the 
island was soon disturbed. Some of the banished colonists combined 
with three brothers of the redoubtable family of the Kallergai, who 
proclaimed the Byzantine Emperor sovereign of Crete. This time the 
Venetian Government sent troops at once to Candia, but hunger proved 
a more effective weapon than the sword. The inhabitants of Lasithi, 
where the insurgents had their headquarters, surrendered the ring- 
leaders rather than starve. Then followed a fresh series of savage 
sentences, for the Republic considered that no mercy should be shown 
to such constant rebels. While the chiefs were sent to the block, the 
whole plateau of Lasithi was converted into a desert, the peasants were 
carried off and their cottages pulled down, and the loss of a foot and the 
confiscation of his cattle were pronounced to be the penalty of any 
farmer or herdsman who should dare to sow corn there or to use the spot 
for pasture. This cruel and ridiculous order was obeyed to the letter; 
for nearly a century one of the most fertile districts of Crete was allowed 
to remain in a state of nature, till at last in 1463 the urgent requirements 
of the Venetian fleet compelled the Senate to consent to the recultiva- 
tion of Lasithi. But as soon as the temporary exigencies of the public 
service had been satisfied, Lasithi fell once more under the ban, until 
towards the end of the fifteenth century the plain was placed under the 
immediate supervision of the Duke and his Councillors. It would be 
hard to discover any more suicidal policy than this, which crippled the 
resources of the colony in order to gratify a feeling of revenge. But it has 
ever been the misfortune of Crete that the folly of her rulers has done 
everything possible to counteract her natural advantages. 

A long period of peace now ensued, a peace born not of prosperous 
contentment but of hopeless exhaustion. The first act of the Republic 
was to substitute for the original oath of fealty, exacted from the 
colonists at the time of the first great settlement in 12 12, a much stricter 
formula of obedience. The next was to put up to auction the vacant fiefs 
of the executed and banished knights at Venice, for it had been resolved 
that none of those estates should be acquired by members of the Greek 
aristocracy. The bidding was not very brisk, for Crete had a bad character 
on the Venetian exchange, so that, some years later, on the destruction 
of the castle of Tenedos, the Republic transported the whole population 
to Candia. There they settled outside the capital in a suburb which, from 
their old home, received the name of Le Tenedee 1 . 

We hear little about Crete during the first half of the fifteenth 
1 Cornelius, Creta Sacra, 11. 355. 



186 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

century, which was so critical a time for the Franks of the mainland. 
The principal grievance of the colonists at that period seems to have 
been the arrogance of the Jews, against whom they twice petitioned 
the Government. It was a Jew, however, who, together with a priest, 
betrayed to the Duke the plot which had been concocted by a leading 
Greek of Rethymno in 1453 for the murder of all the Venetian officials 
on one day, the incarceration of all other foreigners, and the proclama- 
tion of a Greek prince as sovereign of the island. The capture of 
Constantinople by the Turks in that year, followed as it was by the flight 
of many Greek families to Crete, induced the Venetians to take more 
stringent precautions against the intrigues of their Cretan subjects. An 
order was issued empowering the Duke to make away with any suspected 
Cretans without trial or public inquiry of any kind. We are reminded by 
this horrible ordinance of the secret commission for the slaughter of 
dangerous Helots which had been one of the laws of Lycurgus. Nothing 
could better show the insecurity of Venetian rule, even after two 
centuries and a half had passed since the conquest. Another incident, 
at the beginning of the sixteenth century, shows how savage was the 
punishment meted out to the insurgents, with the approval of the 
authorities. At that period the Cretans of Selino, Sphakia, and the 
Rhiza, not far from the latter place united their forces against their 
Venetian masters under the leadership of the Pateropouloi clan. The 
three insurgent districts were formed into an independent Republic, of 
which a leading Greek was chosen Rector. The Venetians of Canea, 
under the pretext of a wedding feast at the villa of one of their country- 
men at the charming village of Alikianou, lured the Rector and some 
fifty of his friends to that place, seized the guests after the banquet, and 
hanged or shot him, his son, and many others in cold blood. The 
remainder of the rebels were rigorously proscribed, and a pardon was 
granted to those alone who produced at Canea the gory head of a father, 
a brother, a cousin, or a nephew 1 . Nor were the foes of Venice only those 
of her own household. The Turkish peril, which had manifested itself in 
sporadic raids before the fall of Constantinople, became more pressing 
after the loss of the Morea. Appeals were made by the inhabitants for 
reinforcements and arms, and at last, when the capture of Eubcea by the 
Turks had deprived them of that valuable station, the Venetians turned 
their thoughts to the protection of Crete, and resolved to restore the 
walls of Candia. Those who saw, like the author, those magnificent 
fortifications before the sea-gate was destroyed by the British troops in 
1898, can estimate the strength of the town in the later Venetian period. 

1 Pashley, n. 150-156. 



CRETE UNDER THE VENETIANS 187 

Unfortunately, those ramparts, which afterwards kept the Turks at bay 
for twenty-four years, could not prevent the dreaded Barbarossa's 
ravages on other parts of the coast. In 1538 that great captain appeared 
with the whole Turkish fleet — then a very different affair from the 
wretched hulks of 1898 which were a terror only to their crews — landed 
at Suda Bay, laid all the adjacent country waste, and nearly captured 
Canea. Thirty years later, this raid was repeated with even greater 
success, for Rethymno was destroyed, and soon the loss of Cyprus 
deprived Crete of a bulwark which had hitherto divided the attention 
of the advancing Turk. Venice was, at length, thoroughly alarmed for 
the safety of her great possession, and she took the resolve of introducing 
drastic reforms into the island. With this object an experienced states- 
man, Giacomo Foscarini, was sent to Crete in 1574 as special 
commissioner, with full powers to inquire into, and redress, the grievances 
of the islanders. Foscarini, well aware that his task would be no easy 
one, endeavoured to excuse himself on private grounds; but his 
patriotism prevailed over all other considerations, and he set out for 
Crete with the intention of increasing the resources of the island and at 
the same time protecting the inhabitants against the oppression of those 
placed over them. In accordance with this policy, he issued, as soon as 
he had landed, a proclamation, urging all who had grievances against 
any Venetian official to come without fear, either openly or in secret, 
before him, in the certainty of obtaining justice and redress. He then 
proceeded to study the condition of the country, and it is fortunate that 
the results of his investigation have been preserved in an official report, 
which throws a flood of light on the state of Crete during the latter half 
of the sixteenth century 1 . 

At the time of Foscarini's visit the island was divided up into 479 
fiefs, 394 of which belonged to Venetians, who were no longer sub- 
divided into the two original classes of knights and sergeants, or foot 
soldiers, but were all collectively known as knights. Of the remaining fiefs, 
thirty-five belonged to native Cretan families, twenty-five to the Latin 
Church, and twenty-five to the Venetian Government. None of these 
last three classes paid taxes or yielded service of any sort to the Republic, 
though a rent was derived from such of the State domains as were let. 
As might be guessed from the frequent repetition of Cretan insurrections, 
the condition of the native Cretan aristocracy was one of the most serious 
problems in the island. When Venice had adopted, somewhat reluctantly, 
the plan of bestowing fiefs on the Greek leaders, twelve prominent 
Cretan families had been selected, whose descendants, styled archonto- 
1 Zinkeisen, iv. 629-723. 



188 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

pouloi, or archontoromaioi, formed a privileged class without obligations 
of any sort. As time went on, the numbers of these families had 
increased, till, shortly before Foscarini's visit, they comprised at least 
400 souls. But, as the number of the fiefs at their disposal remained the 
same, a series of subdivisions became necessary, and this led to those 
continual quarrels, which were the inevitable result of the feudal system 
all over Greece. A hard and fast line was soon drawn between the 
richer "sons of the archontes," who lived a life of idleness and luxury in 
the towns, and the poorer members of the clan, who sank into the position 
of peasants on their bit of land, without, however, losing their privileges 
and their pride of descent. The latter quality involved them in perpetual 
feuds with rival families equally aristocratic and equally penniless, and 
the celebrated district of Sphakia, in particular, had even then acquired 
the evil notoriety for turbulent independence which it preserved down 
to the end of the nineteenth century. Shortly before Foscarini appeared 
on the scene, a Venetian commissioner had paid a visit to that spot for 
the express purpose of chastising the local family of the Pateroi, whose 
hereditary feud with the family of the Papadopouloi of Rethymno had 
become a public scandal. Both the parties, the latter of whom still has 
a representative in an illustrious family resident at Venice, were of 
common stock, for both were branches of the ancient Cretan clan of the 
Skordiloi. But they hated one another with all the bitterness of near 
relatives; revenge was the most precious heritage of their race; the 
bloody garment of each victim was treasured up by his family, every 
member of which wore mourning till his murder had been wiped out in 
blood; and thus, as in Albania to-day, and in Corsica in the days of 
Merimee, there was no end to the chain of assassinations. On this 
occasion the Sphakiotes, who could well maintain the classic reputation 
of the Cretan bowmen, were completely crushed by the heavily armed 
troops of Venice. Their homes were burned to the ground, those who 
resisted were slain; those who were captured were sent into exile at 
Corfu, where they mostly died of cruel treatment or home-sickness, the 
home-sickness which every true Cretan feels for his mountains. The 
survivors of the clan were forbidden to rebuild their dwellings or to 
approach within many miles of their beloved Sphakia. The inhospitable 
valleys and rough uplands became their refuge, and winter and lack of 
food had been steadily diminishing their numbers when Foscarini 
arrived at Sphakia to see for himself how things were in that notorious 
district. 

Sphakia lies on the south coast of the island, almost exactly opposite 
the Bay of Suda on the north. Foscarini describes it as consisting of 



CRETE UNDER THE VENETIANS 189 

"a very weak tower," occupied by a Venetian garrison of eleven men, 
and a small hamlet built in terraces on the hills. The wildness of the 
scenery was in keeping, he says, with the wildness of the inhabitants, 
whose bravery, splendid physique, and agility in climbing the rocks he 
warmly praises. Their appearance suggested to him a comparison with 
"the wild Irish," and they have certainly vied with the latter in the 
trouble which they have given to successive Governments. Their long 
hair and beards, their huge boots and vast skirts, the dagger, sword, bow 
and arrows, which every Sphakiote constantly carried, and the unpleasant 
odour of goats, which was derived from their habit of sleeping in caves 
among their herds, and which clung to their persons, struck the observant 
Venetian in a more or less agreeable manner. Yet he remarked that, if 
they were let alone and not agitated by family feuds, they were a mild 
and gentle race, and the peasant spokesman of the clan seemed to him 
one of nature's noblemen. With this man Foscarini came to terms, 
promising the Pateroi a free pardon, their return to their homes, and the 
restoration of their villages, on condition that they should furnish men 
for the Venetian galleys, send a deputation twice a year to Canea, and 
work once annually on the fortifications of that town. The Sphakiotes 
loyally kept these conditions during the stay of Foscarini in the island, 
their district became a model of law and order, while their rivals, the 
Papadopouloi, were frightened into obedience by the threats of the 
energetic commissioner. He further organised all the native clans in 
companies for service in the militia under chiefs, or capitani, chosen by 
him from out of their midst and paid by the local government. This local 
militia was entrusted with the policing of the island, on the sound 
principle that a former brigand makes the best policeman. Disobedience 
or negligence was punished by degradation from the privileged class of 
free archontopouloi, and thus the military qualities of the Cretans were 
diverted into a useful channel, and a strong motive provided for their 
loyalty. Similarly since the union with Greece the Cretans have become 
excellent constables. 

The next problem was that of the Venetian knights. It had been the 
original intention of the Republic that none of their fiefs should pass 
into Greek hands. But as time went on many of the colonists had 
secretly sold their estates to the natives, and had gone back to Venice 
to spend the proceeds of the sale in luxurious idleness. When Foscarini 
arrived, he found that many even of those Venetians who remained in 
Crete had become Greek in dress, manners, and speech. More than sixty 
years earlier we hear complaints of the lack of Catholic priests and of the 
consequent indifference of the colonists to the religion of their fore- 



190 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

fathers, so that we are not surprised to hear Foscarini deploring the 
numerous conversions of the Venetians in the country districts to the 
Orthodox faith through the want of Latin churches. In the town of 
Candia, where the nobles were better off, they still remained strict 
Catholics, and this difference of religion marked them off from the 
Orthodox people; but their wives had adopted Oriental habits, and lived 
in the seclusion which we associate with the daily life of women in the 
East. In Canea, which was a more progressive place than the capital, 
things were a little more hopeful, but even there education was almost 
entirely neglected. In the country, owing to the subdivision of fiefs, 
many of the smaller Venetian proprietors had sunk to the condition of 
peasants, retaining neither the language nor the chivalrous habits of 
their ancestors, but only the sonorous names of the great Venetian 
houses whence they sprang. All the old martial exercises, on which the 
Republic had relied for the defence of the island, had long fallen into 
abeyance. Few of the knights could afford to keep horses ; few could ride 
them. When they were summoned on parade at Candia, they were wont 
to stick some of their labourers on horseback, clad in their own armour, 
to the scandal of the Government and the amusement of the spectators, 
who would pelt these improvised horsemen with bad oranges or stones. 
Another abuse arose from the possession of one estate by several 
persons, who each contributed a part of the horse's equipment which the 
estate was expected to furnish. Thus the net result of the feudal 
arrangements in Crete at this period was an impoverished nobility and 
an utterly inadequate system of defence. 

Foscarini set to work to remedy these evils with great courage. He 
proceeded to restore the old feudal military service, with such altera- 
tions as the times required. He announced that neglect of this public 
duty would be punished by confiscation of the vassal's fief; he abolished 
the combination of several persons for the equipment of one horse, but 
ordered that the small proprietors should each provide one of the cheap 
but hardy little Cretan steeds, leaving the wealthier knights to furnish 
costlier animals. By this means he created a chivalrous spirit among the 
younger nobles, who began to take pride in their horses, and 1200 
horsemen were at the disposal of the State before he left the island. He 
next turned his attention to the remedy of another abuse — the excessive 
growth of the native Cretan aristocracy owing to the issue of patents of 
nobility by corrupt officials. Still worse was the reckless bestowal of 
privileges, such as exemptions from personal service on the galleys and 
from labour on the fortifications, upon Cretans of humble origin, or even 
upon whole communities. The latter practice was specially objectionable, 



CRETE UNDER THE VENETIANS 191 

because the privileged communities exercised a magnetic attraction 
upon the peasants of other districts, who flocked into them, leaving the 
less favoured parts of the island almost depopulated. Quite apart from 
this cause, the diminution of the population, which at the time of the 
Venetian conquest was about half a million, but had sunk to 271,489 
shortly before Foscarini's arrival, was sufficiently serious. It is obvious 
that in ancient times, Crete with its " ninety cities " must have supported 
a large number of inhabitants; but the plagues, famines, and earth- 
quakes of the sixteenth century had lessened the population, already 
diminished by Turkish raids and internal insurrections. In 1524 no 
fewer than 24,000 persons died of the plague, and the Jews alone were an 
increasing body. Against them Foscarini was particularly severe; he 
regarded the fair Jewesses of Candia as the chief cause of the moral 
laxity of the young nobles; he absolutely forbade Christians to accept 
service in Jewish families; and nowhere was his departure so welcome 
as in the Ghetto of Candia. The peasants, on the other hand, regarded 
him as a benefactor; for their lot, whether they were mere serfs or 
whether they tilled the land on condition of paying a certain proportion 
of the produce, was by no means enviable. The serfs, or pdroikoi, were 
mostly the descendants of the Arabs who had been enslaved by Nike- 
phoros Phokas, and who could be sold at the will of their masters. The 
free peasants were overburdened with compulsory work by the Govern- 
ment, as well as by the demands of their lords. In neither case was 
Foscarini sure that he had been able to confer any permanent benefit 
upon them. At least, he had followed the maxim of an experienced 
Venetian, that the Cretans were not to be managed by threats and 
punishments. 

He concluded his mission by strengthening the two harbours of Suda 
and Spinalonga, by increasing the numbers and pay of the garrison, by 
improving the Cretan fleet and the mercantile marine, and by restoring 
equilibrium to the budget. The Levantine possessions of Venice cost her 
at this period more than they brought in, and it was the desire of the 
Republic that Crete, should, at any rate, be made to pay expenses. With 
this object, Foscarini regulated the currency, raised the tariff in such a 
way that the increased duties fell on the foreign consumer, saw that they 
were honestly collected, and endeavoured to make the island more 
productive. But in all his reforms the commissioner met with stubborn 
resistance from the vested interests of the Venetian officials and the 
fanaticism of the Orthodox clergy, always the bitterest foes of Venice 
in the Levant. In dealing with the latter, Foscarini saw that strong 
measures were necessary; he persuaded his Government to banish the 



192 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

worst agitators, and to allow the others to remain only on condition that 
they behaved well. Then, after more than four years of labour, he 
returned to Venice, where he was thanked by the Doge for his eminent 
services. He had been, indeed, as his monument in the Carmelite church 
there says, " Dictator of the island of Candia " ; but even his heroic policy 
did "but skin and film the ulcerous place." Not ten years after his 
departure we find another Venetian authority, Giulio de Garzoni, writing 
of the tyranny of the knights and officials, the misery of the natives, the 
disorder of the administration, and the continued agitation of the Greek 
clergy among the peasantry. So desperate had the latter become that 
there were many who preferred even the yoke of the Sultan to that of 
the Catholic Republic 1 . The population of the island, which Foscarini 
had estimated at 219,000, had sunk in this short space of time to about 
176,000. Numbers of Cretans had emigrated to Constantinople since 
Foscarini left, where they formed a large portion of the men employed 
in the Turkish arsenal, and where the information which they gave to 
the Turks about the weakness of the Cretan garrison and forts filled the 
Venetian representatives with alarm. Yet Venice seemed powerless to 
do more for the oppressed islanders; indeed, she inclined rather to the 
Machiavellian policy of Fra Paolo Sarpi, who advised her to treat the 
Cretans like wild beasts, upon whom humanity would be only thrown 
away, and to govern the island by maintaining constant enmity between 
the barbarised colonists and the native barbarians. "Bread and the 
stick, that is all that you ought to give them." Such a policy could only 
prevail so long as Venice was strong enough to defend the colony, or 
wise enough to keep at peace with the Sultan. 

The latter policy prevailed for nearly three-quarters of a century 
after the peace between Venice and the Porte in 1573, and during that 
period we hear little of Crete. The quaint traveller Lithgow 2 , who 
visited it in the first decade of the seventeenth century, alludes to a 
descent of the Turks upon Rethymno in 1597, when that town was again 
sacked and burned ; and he remarks, as Plato had done in The Laws, that 
he never saw a Cretan come out of his house unarmed. He found a 
Venetian garrison of 12,000 men in the island, and reiterates the 
preference of the Cretans for Turkish rule, on the ground that they would 
have "more liberty and less taxes." But while he was disappointed to 
find no more than four cities in an island which in Homer's day had 
contained ninety, he tells us that Canea had "ninety-seven palaces," 
and he waxes eloquent over the great fertility of the country near Suda. 

1 Pashley, 11. 285. 

* The Mall discourse (ed. 1906), pp. 70-83. 



CRETE UNDER THE VENETIANS 193 

It is curious to find, nearly three centuries ago, that Suda bay was 
eagerly coveted by a foreign potentate, the King of Spain, of whose 
designs the astute Venetians were fully aware, and whose overtures they 
steadily declined. 

The time had now arrived when the Cretans were to realise their 
desires, and exchange the Venetian for the Turkish rule. The Ottoman 
sultans had long meditated the conquest of the island, and two recent 
events had infuriated Ibrahim I against the Venetians. The Near East 
was at that time cursed with a severe outbreak of piracy, in which there 
was little to choose between Christians and Mussulmans. While the 
Venetians had chased some Barbary corsairs into the Turkish harbour of 
Valona, on the coast of Albania, and had injured a minaret with their 
shots, they had allowed a Maltese squadron, which had captured the 
nurse of the Sultan's son, to sail into a Cretan harbour with its booty. 
The fury of the Sultan, whose affection for his son's nurse was well 
known, was not appeased by the apologies of the Venetian representative. 
Great preparations were made for an expedition against Crete, and 
Ibrahim constantly went down to the arsenals to urge on the workmen. 
All over the Turkish empire the word went forth to make ready. The 
forests of the Morea were felled to furnish palisades, the naval stores 
of Chalkis were emptied to supply provisions for the troops. All the time 
the Grand Vizier kept assuring the Venetian bailie that these gigantic 
efforts were directed not against the Republic, but against the knights 
of Malta. In vain the Mufti protested against this act of deception, and 
pleaded that, if war there must be against Venice, at least it might be 
open. The Capitan-Pasha and the war party silenced any religious 
scruples of the Sultan, and the Mufti was told to mind his own business. 
As soon as the truth dawned upon the Venetians they lost no time in 
preparing to meet the Turks. Andrea Cornaro, the new Governor of 
Crete, hastily strengthened the fortifications of Candia and of the island 
at the mouth of Suda bay, while the home Government sent messages 
for aid to every friendly State, from Spain to Persia, with but little 
result. The Great Powers were then at each other's throats; France was 
quarrelling with Spain, Germany was still in the throes of the Thirty 
Years' War, England was engaged in the struggle between King and 
Parliament, and it was thought that the English wine trade would 
benefit by the Turkish conquest of Crete. Besides, the downfall of the 
Levantine commerce of Venice was regarded with equanimity by our 
Turkey merchants, and the Venetians accused us of selling munitions of 
war to the infidel. It was remarked, too, that Venice, of all States, was 
the least entitled to expect Christendom to arm in her defence, for no 

M. 13 



194 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

other Government had been so ready to sacrifice Christian interests in 
the Levant when it suited her purpose. Only the Pope and a few minor 
States promised assistance. 

In 1645 the Turkish fleet sailed with sealed orders for the famous bay 
of Navarino. Then the command was given to arrest all Venetian subjects, 
including the Republic's representative at Constantinople, and the 
Turkish commander, a Dalmatian renegade, set sail for Crete. Landing 
without opposition to the west of Canea, he proceeded to besiege that 
town, whose small but heroic garrison held out for two months before 
capitulating. The principal churches were at once converted into mosques; 
but the losses of the Turks during the siege, and the liberal terms which 
their commander had felt bound to offer to the besieged, cost him his 
head. At Venice great was the consternation at the loss of Canea; 
enormous pecuniary sacrifices were demanded of the citizens, and titles 
of nobility were sold in order to raise funds for carrying on the war. 
Meanwhile, an attempt to create a diversion by an attack upon Patras 
only served to exasperate the Turks, who became masters of Rethymno 
in 1646, and in the spring of 1648 began that memorable siege of Candia 
which was destined to last for more than twenty years. Even though 
Venice sued for peace, and offered to the Sultan Parga and Tenos 1 , as 
well as a tribute, in return for the restoration of Canea and Rethymno, 
the Turks remained obdurate, and were resolved at all costs to have the 
island, "even though the war should go on for a hundred years." And 
indeed it seemed likely to be prolonged indefinitely. The substitution of 
Mohammed IV for Ibrahim I as Sultan, and the consequent confusion 
at the Turkish capital, made it difficult for the Turks to carry on the 
struggle with the vigour which they had shown at the outset. The 
Venetian fleet waited at the entrance of the Dardanelles to attack 
Turkish convoys on their way to Crete, while the Ottoman provision- 
stores at Volo and Megara were burned. But these successes outside of 
the island delayed, without preventing, the progress of the Turkish arms. 
In fact, the Venetian forays in the Archipelago, notably at Paros and 
Melos, had the effect of embittering the Greeks against them, and, as a 
Cretan poet wrote, the islanders had to suffer, whichever side they took. 
In Crete itself, an ambitious Greek priest persuaded the Porte to have 
him appointed Metropolitan of the island, and to allow him to name 
seven suffragans. The Cretan militia refused to fight, and even the 
warlike Sphakiotes, under the leadership of a Kallerges, did little beyond 
cutting off a few Turkish stragglers. At last they yielded to the Turks, 

1 Zinkeisen, iv. 789, 808. Like the British Government in 1819, the Turks did 
not know what Parga was. 



CRETE UNDER THE VENETIANS 195 

whose humane treatment of the Greek peasants throughout the island, 
combined with the unpopularity of the Latin rule, frustrated the attempt 
to provoke a general rising of the Cretans against the invaders. Nor was 
a small French force, which Cardinal Mazarin at last sent to aid the 
Venetians, more successful. Both sides were, in fact, equally hampered 
and equally unable to obtain a decisive victory; the Venetian fleet at 
the islet of Standia, and the Turkish army in the fortress of New Candia, 
which it had erected, kept watching one another, while year after year 
the wearisome war dragged on. Then, in 1666, a new element was 
introduced into the conflict. The Grand Vizier, Ahmed Koprili, landed 
in Crete, resolved to risk his head upon the success of his attempt to take 
Candia 1 . 

For two years and a half Koprili patiently besieged the town, with 
an immense expenditure of ammunition and a great loss of life. Worse 
and worse grew the condition of the garrison, which was commanded by 
the brave Francesco Morosini, who was destined later on to inflict such 
tremendous blows upon the Turks in the Morea. A ray of hope illumined 
the doomed fortress when, in June 1669, a force of 8000 French soldiers 
under the Due de Navailles, and fifty French vessels under the Due de 
Beaufort, arrived in the harbour, sent by Louis XIV, at the urgent 
prayer of Pope Clement IX, to save this bulwark of Catholicism. But 
these French auxiliaries met with no success. Four days after their 
arrival, the Due de Beaufort fell in a sally outside the walls 2 . His 
colleague, the Due de Navailles, soon lost heart, and sailed away to 
France, leaving the garrison to its fate. His departure was the turning- 
point in the siege. The houses were riddled with shots, the churches were 
in ruins, the streets were strewn with splinters of bombs and bullets, 
every day diminished the number of the defenders, and sickness was 
raging in the town. Then Morosini saw that it was useless to go on 
fighting. He summoned a council of war, and proposed that the garrison 
should capitulate. A few desperate men opposed his proposition, saying 
that they would rather blow up the place and die, as they had fought, 
like heroes among its ruins. But Morosini's opinion prevailed, the white 
flag was hoisted on the ramparts, and two plenipotentiaries — one of 
them an Englishman, Colonel Thomas Anand — were appointed to settle 
the terms of capitulation with the Grand Vizier, who was represented at 
the conference by a Greek, Panagiotes Nikouses, the first of his race who 
became Grand Dragoman of the Porte 3 . Koprili insisted upon the 

1 To this period belongs the fountain at Candia, described by Pashley (1. 203), 
and still standing. An inscription on it states that it was erected by Antonio 
Priuli in 1666, "when the war had been raging for four lustres." 

* Zinkeisen, iv. 992. 3 Paparregopoulos, v. 552. 

13 — 2 



196 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

complete cession of Crete, with the exception of the three fortresses of 
Suda, Spinalonga, and Grabusa, with the small islands near them; but 
he showed his appreciation of the heroic defence of Candia by allowing 
the garrison to march out with all the honours of war. On September 27 
the keys of the town were handed to him on a silver dish, and on the 
same day, the whole population, except six persons, left the place. 
There, at least, the Greeks preferred exile to Turkish rule, and one of 
Koprili's first acts was to induce fresh inhabitants to come to the 
deserted town by the promise of exemption from taxes for several years. 

The cost of this siege, one of the longest in history, "Troy's rival," 
as Byron called it 1 , had been enormous. The Venetians, it was calculated, 
had lost 30,985 men, and the Turks 118,754, and the Republic had spent 
4,253,000 ducats upon the defence of this one city. Some idea of the 
miseries inflicted by this long war of a quarter of a century may be 
formed from the fact that the population of Crete, which had risen to 
about 260,000 before it began, was estimated by the English traveller 
Randolph, eighteen years after the Turkish conquest, at only 80,000, of 
whom 30,000 were Turks. Even before the siege it had been said that 
Crete cost far more than it was worth, and from the pecuniary stand- 
point the loss of the island was a blessing in disguise. But a cession of 
territory cannot be measured by means of a balance-sheet. The prestige 
of the Republic had been shattered, her greatest possession in the 
Levant had been torn from her, and once more the disunion of the 
Western Powers had been the Turk's opportunity. Both the parties to 
the treaty were accused of having concluded an unworthy peace. Every 
successful Turkish commander has enemies at home, who seek to 
undermine his influence; but Koprili was strong enough to keep his 
place. Morosini, less fortunate, was, indeed, acquitted of the charges 
of bribery and malversation brought against him, but he was not 
employed again for many years, until he was called upon to take a noble 
revenge for the loss of Candia. 

Venice did not retain her three remaining Cretan fortresses indefinitely. 
Grabusa was betrayed by its venal commander to the Turks in 1691 ; Suda 
and Spinalonga were captured in 1715 during the Turco- Venetian War, 
and the Treaty of Passarovitz confirmed their annexation to Turkey 2 . 

So, after 465 years, the Venetian domination came to an end. From 
the Roman times to the present day no government has lasted so long 
in that restless island; and the winged lion on many a building, the old 

1 Childe Harold, iv. 14. 

* Von Hammer, Geschichte des osmanischen Reiches, vi. 573, vu. 182; Tourne- 
fort, Voyage du Levant, 1. 62. 



CRETE UNDER THE VENETIANS 197 

galley arches on the left of the port of Candia, and the chain of Venetian 
fortresses, of which Prof. Gerola has given a detailed description in his 
great work, Venetian Monuments in the island of Crete, remind us of 
the bygone rule of the great republic. But the traveller will inquire in 
vain for the descendants of those Venetian colonists whose names have 
been preserved in the archives at Venice. Rather than remain in Crete, 
most of them emigrated to Corfu or to the /Egean islands, or else 
returned to Venice — reluctantly, we may be sure, for Crete has ever 
exercised a strange fascination on all who have dwelt there. Now that 
Crete is once more emancipated from the Turk, it is possible to compare 
the Venetian and the Ottoman rule, and even Greeks themselves, no 
lovers of the Latins in the Levant, have done justice to the merits of 
the Republic of St Mark. The yoke of Venice was at times heavy, 
and her hand was relentless in crushing out rebellion. But a Greek 
writer of eminence has admitted that the Venetian administration in 
Crete was not exceptionally cruel, if judged by the low standard of 
humanity in that period 1 . Some persons, on the strength of certain 
striking instances of ferocious punishment inflicted on those who had 
taken part in the Cretan risings 2 , have pronounced the Venetians to 
have been worse than the Turks. But in our own day the Germans, 
who boast of their superior education, have exterminated the inhabi- 
tants of a South Sea island as vengeance for the murder of one missionary 
and have incited the Turks to massacre the Armenians. It should be 
reckoned to the credit of Venice that she, at least, did not attack the 
religion, or attempt to proscribe the language, of her Greek subjects, but 
sternly repelled the proselytising zeal of the Papacy, so that the Orthodox 
Church gained more followers than it lost. The permission accorded in 
Crete to mixed marriages tended to make the children of the Venetian 
colonists good Cretans and luke-warm Catholics, where they did not go 
over to the Orthodox creed. The Greeks were given a share in the 
administration, trade was encouraged, and many of the natives amassed 
large fortunes. At no time in the history of the island was the export of 
wine so considerable as during the Venetian occupation. So great was 
the wine trade between Crete and England that Henry VIII appointed 
in 1522 a certain merchant of Lucca, resident in the island, as first 
English Consul there — the beginning of our consular service. Various 
travellers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries allude to this 
traffic, and Ben Jonson, in his play of The Fox, talks of "rich Candian 
wine " as a special vintage. In return, we sent woollens to the islanders, 
till the French managed to supplant us 3 . Nor was learning neglected 
1 Stavrakes, 138 sqq. * Pashley, 11. 150-156. * Ibid. 1. 54. 



198 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

under the Venetians. The fifteenth and sixteenth centuries produced 
many Cretans of distinction, among them Pope Alexander V. One 
became a famous engineer, two others gained renown as printers at 
Venice and Rome; a great Cretan artist, Domenicos Theotokopoulos, 
obtained undying fame at Madrid under the name of "El Greco"; one 
Cretan author edited the Moral Treatises of Plutarch; another, Joannes 
Bergikios, wrote a history of his native island in Italian. We have two 
poems in Greek by the Cretans Bouniales and Skleros upon the war of 
Candia 1 . It was a Cretan of Venetian origin, Vincenzo Cornaro, who 
wrote the romance of Erotokritos, which was "the most popular reading 
of the Levant from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century," and in 
which Herakles, " king of Athens," his lovely daughter Aretousa, and 
her lover Erotokritos are the principal figures, amidst a crowd of 
princelets obviously modelled on the Frankish dukes and marquesses 
of mediaeval Greece. Other novelists were produced by the island, but 
when Crete fell all the lettered Cretans left, and with their departure the 
romantic spirit in literature, which they had imbibed from the West, 
ceased 2 . A Greek school had been founded at Candia in 1550, and many 
young Cretans went to Italy for purposes of study 3 . Markos Mousouros, 
the Cretan scholar, was buried in Sta Maria della Pace in Rome in 15 17 ; 
another Cretan, Skouphos, published his Rhetoric at Venice in 1681. 
Compared with the present day, when the island has just emerged from 
the deadening effect of 229 years of Turkish rule, its civilisation was 
materially more advanced in Venetian times. The Venetians made roads, 
bridges, and aqueducts; the Turks created nothing, and allowed the 
former means of communication to decay. Yet, as we have seen, Venice 
was never popular with the Cretans, and the reason is perfectly obvious 
to those who have observed the Greek character. Be the material 
advantages of foreign domination never so great, the Greek resents being 
governed by those of another race and creed, especially if that creed be 
Roman Catholicism. The history of the Ionian Islands under the British 
Protectorate, of Cyprus under the existing arrangement, of the Morea 
under the Venetians, of Athens and of Naxos under the Latin dukes, all 
point the same moral. The patriotic Greek would rather be free than 
prosperous, and most Greeks, though sharp men of business, are warm 
patriots. That is the lesson of Venetian rule in Crete — a lesson which 
Europe, after the agony of a century of insurrections, at last took to 
heart by granting the Cretans autonomy — now become union with Greece. 

1 Sathas, ' EXXijpikcIi ' Av4k8oto., II., TovpoKpaTov/x4vri''EXKa.s, 222—300; KprjriKov Qiarpov, 
which includes a comedy, a pastoral tragi-comedy, a tragedy and an imitation of 
Simeon's Zeno. 

2 Paparregopoulos, v. 636-38. s Stavrakes, 139-41. 



THE IONIAN ISLANDS UNDER VENETIAN RULE 199 



8. THE IONIAN ISLANDS UNDER VENETIAN RULE 

On their way from Venice to Constantinople the soldiers of the 
fourth crusade cast anchor at Corfu, which (as modern Corfiote 
historians think) had lately been recovered from the Genoese pirate 
Vetrano by the Byzantine government, and was at that time, in the 
language of the chronicler Villehardouin, "very rich and plenteous." 
In the deed of partition the Ionian islands were assigned to the Venetians ; 
but they did not find Corfu by any means an easy conquest. The natives, 
combining with their old master, Vetrano, ousted the Venetian garrison, 
and it was not till he had been defeated in a naval battle and hanged 
with a number of his Corfiote supporters that the Republic was able to 
occupy the island. Even then the Venetian government, finding it 
impossible to administer directly all the vast territories which had 
suddenly come into its possession, granted the island in fiefs to ten 
Venetian citizens on condition that they should garrison it and should 
pay an annual rent to the Republic. The rights of the Greek church were 
to be respected, and the taxes of the loyal islanders were not to be raised 1 . 
But this first Venetian domination of Corfu was of brief duration. When 
Michael I Angelos founded the Despotat of Epeiros the attraction of a 
neighbouring Greek state proved too much for the Corfiotes, who threw 
off the Latin yoke and willingly became his subjects. A memorial of his 
rule may still be seen in the splendidly situated castle of Sant' Angelo, 
whose ruins rise high above the waters of the Ionian Sea not far from the 
beautiful monastery of Palaiokastrizza 2 . 

Corfu prospered greatly under the Despots of Epeiros. They took 
good care to ratify and extend the privileges of the church, to grant 
exemptions from taxation to the priests, and to reduce the burdens of 
the laity to the smallest possible figure. In this they showed their 
wisdom, for the church became their warmest ally, and a Corfiote divine 
was one of the most vigorous advocates of his patron in the ecclesiastical 
and political feud between the rival Greek empires of Nice and Salonika. 
But after little more than half a century of Orthodox rule the island 
passed into the possession of the Catholic Angevins. Michael II of Epeiros, 
yielding to the exigencies of politics, had given his daughter in marriage 
to the ill-starred Manfred of Sicily, to whom she brought Corfu as a part 
of her dowry. Upon the death of Manfred at the battle of Benevento the 
powerful Sicilian admiral Chinardo, who had governed it for his master, 
occupied the island until he was murdered by the inhabitants at the 

1 Mustoxidi, Delle Cose Corciresi, pp. 399 and vi. * Ibid. p. 401. 



200 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

instigation of Michael. The crime did not, however, profit the crafty 
Despot. The national party in Corfu endeavoured, indeed, to restore the 
island to the rule of the Angeloi; but Chinardo's soldiers, under the 
leadership of a baron named Aleman, successfully resisted the agitation. 
As the defeat of Manfred had led to the establishment of Charles of 
Anjou as king of Naples and Sicily, and as they were a small foreign 
garrison in the midst of a hostile population, they thought it best to 
accept that powerful prince as lord of the island. By the treaty of 
Viterbo the fugitive Latin emperor, Baldwin II, ceded to Charles any 
rights over it which he might possess, and thus in 1267 the Angevins 
came into possession of Corfu, though Aleman was allowed to retain the 
fortresses of the place until his death 1 . For more than five centuries the 
Latin race and the Catholic religion predominated there. 

The Angevin rule, as might have been anticipated from its origin, 
»as especially intolerant of the Orthodox faith. Charles owed his crown 
to the Pope, and was anxious to repay the obligation by propagating 
Catholicism among his Orthodox subjects. The Venetians, as we saw, 
had enjoined the tolerance of the Greek church during their brief period 
of domination, so that now for the first time the islanders learnt what 
religious persecution meant. The Metropolitan of Corfu, whose office had 
been so greatly exalted by the Despots of Epeiros, was deposed, and in 
his room a less dignified ecclesiastic, called "chief priest" (/ieya? 
7rpcoro7ra7rd<;), was substituted. The title of "Archbishop of Corfu" was 
now usurped by a Latin priest, and the principal churches were seized by 
the Catholic clergy 2 . In the time of the Angevins too the Jews, who still 
flourish there almost alone in Greece, made their first appearance in any 
numbers in Corfu, and first found protectors there; but the injunctions 
of successive sovereigns, bidding the people treat them well, would seem 
to show that this protection was seldom efficacious 3 . The government 
of the island was also reorganised. An official was appointed to act as 
viceroy with the title of captain, and the country was divided into four 
bailiwicks. Many new fiefs were assigned, while some that already 
existed were transferred to Italians and Provencals. 

The Sicilian Vespers, which drove the house of Anjou from Sicily 
and handed that kingdom over to the rival house of Aragon, indirectly 

1 Mustoxidi, p. 441. Aleman belonged to a family from Languedoc, which 
received the barony of Patras after the Frank conquest of the Morea, and whose 
name is still borne by the bridge near Thermopylae, the scene of the heroic fight of 
1821. 

2 Idromenos, Swoxtik^ 'la-ropia rijs Kepictipas, p. 68. There is, however, a 
document of Philip II of Taranto in favour of the Greek clergy: Marmora, Delia 
Historia di Corfit, p. 223. 

* Romanos, 'H'E/fyaiVd; koiv&ttis tj/s KepKvpas, Mustoxidi, pp. 445-50. 



THE IONIAN ISLANDS UNDER VENETIAN RULE 201 

affected the fortunes of Corfu. The Corfiotes did not, indeed, imitate the 
Sicilians and massacre the French; but their connexion with the 
Angevins now exposed them to attack from the Aragonese fleets. Thus 
the famous Roger de Lluria burnt the royal castle and levied blackmail 
upon the inhabitants. Another Roger, the terrible Catalan leader, De 
Flor, ravaged the fertile island in one of his expeditions; yet, in spite of 
these incursions, we find the condition of Corfu half a century later to 
have been far superior to that of the neighbouring lands. The fact that 
the diligent research of the local historians has brought to light so little 
information about the Angevin period in itself proves that, in that 
generally troubled time, Corfu enjoyed tranquillity. Beyond the names 
of its sovereigns, Charles II of Naples, Philip I, Robert, and Philip II of 
Taranto, Catherine of Valois and Marie de Bourbon, we know little 
about the island from the time when Charles II, reserving to himself the 
overlordship, transferred it as a fief in 1294 to his fourth son, the first 
of those princes, down to the death of Philip II in 1373. It then experi- 
enced the evils of a disputed succession, and, as it espoused the cause of 
Queen Joanna I of Naples, it was attacked by the Navarrese mercenaries, 
who were in the pay of the rival candidate, Jacques de Baux, and who 
afterwards played so important a part in the Morea. When Joanna lost 
her crown and life at the hands of Charles III of Durazzo, the latter 
obtained Corfu, and, with the usual kindness of usurpers insecure on 
their thrones, he confirmed the fiscal privileges which the Angeloi had 
granted to the Corfiotes in the previous century 1 . But after his violent 
death four years later, in 1386, the decline of the Angevin dynasty and 
the unsettled condition of the east of Europe caused the islanders to turn 
their eyes in the direction of the only power which could protect them. 
Venice indeed had never forgotten her brief possession of Corfu : she 
had long been scheming how to recover so desirable a naval station, and 
her consul encouraged the Venetian party in the island. There was also 
a Genoese faction there, but its attempt to hold the old castle failed, and 
on May 28, 1386, the Corfiotes hoisted the standard of St Mark. Six 
envoys — one of them, it is worth noting, a Jewish representative of the 
considerable Hebrew community — were appointed to offer the island to 
the Republic upon certain conditions, the chief of which were the 
confirmation of the privileges granted by the Angevins, a declaration 
that Venice would never dispose of the place to any other power, and 
a promise to maintain the existing system of fiefs. On June 9 a second 
document was drawn up, reiterating the desire of the islanders, "or the 
greater and saner part of them," to put themselves under the shelter 
1 Mustoxidi, p. 452. 



202 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

of the Republic. Since the death of Charles III, they said, " the island 
has been destitute of all protection, while it has been coveted by jealous 
neighbours on every side and almost besieged by Arabs and Turks." 
Wherefore, " considering the tempest of the times and the instability of 
human affairs," they had resolved to elect Miani, the Venetian admiral, 
captain of the island, and he had entered the city without the least 
disturbance. The castle of Sant' Angelo held out for a time in the name 
of Ladislaus, king of Naples; but the transfer of the island was effected 
practically without bloodshed. On its side the Venetian government 
readily agreed to the terms of the six Corfiote envoys, but thought it 
prudent to purchase the acquiescence of the king of Naples in this 
transaction. Accordingly in 1402 the sum of 30,000 gold ducats was 
paid to him for the island, and the Venetian title was thus made doubly 
sure 1 . For 411 years the Hon of St Mark held unbroken possession of 
Corfu. 

Meanwhile the fate of the other Ionian islands had been somewhat 
different, and they only gradually passed beneath the Venetian sway. 
Paxo, the baronial fief of the successive families of Malerba, Sant' Ippolito 
and Altavilla, was, indeed, joined politically with Corfu, from which it 
is so short a distance, but Cephalonia, Zante, and Ithake had fallen 
about the time of the Latin conquest of Constantinople into the hands 
of a roving crusader or pirate — the terms were then identical — named 
Majo, or Matthew, a member of the great Orsini clan and son-in-law of 
the Sicilian Admiral Margaritone, who styled himself count palatine of 
the islands, though he recognised the supremacy of Venice. Stricken 
with pangs of conscience for his sins, he atoned for them by placing his 
possessions under the protection of the Pope, who made short work of 
the Orthodox bishops and put the islands under a single Latin ecclesiastic. 
Majo did fealty to Geoff roy I de Villehardouin of Achaia, and the islands 
were thenceforth reckoned as a vassal state of that principality. His- 
torians have narrated the horrible crimes of the descendants of Count 
Majo in describing the stormy history of Epeiros, and so terrible was the 
condition of the islands when John of Gravina set out to claim the 
principality of Achaia that he had no difficulty in occupying them as 
dependencies of that state. A few years later, in 1333, an arrangement 
was made by which they were united with Achaia and Corfu under the 
Angevin sceptre. But Robert of Taranto subsequently separated them 
in 1357 from the latter island by conferring them upon Leonardo Tocco 
of Benevento, who also became in 1362 duke of Santa Maura, an island 
whose history during the thirteenth and part of the fourteenth centuries 
1 Mustoxidi, pp. 456-64, lx-lxxii. 



THE IONIAN ISLANDS UNDER VENETIAN RULE 203 

is buried in the deepest obscurity. It appears to have belonged to the 
Despots of Epeiros down to a little before the year 1300, when it is 
mentioned as a part of the county of Cephalonia. Captured by young 
Walter of Brienne in his expedition to Greece in 1331, it was by him 
bestowed on the Venetian family of Zorzi in 1355. 

The Turks took the four islands of Cephalonia, Ithake, Zante, and 
Santa Maura from the Tocchi in 1479, and the attempt of Antonio Tocco 
to recover his brother's dominions ended in his murder at the hands of 
the Ionians. By arrangement with the Sultan the Venetians, who had 
expelled Antonio's forces, handed Cephalonia over to the Turks in 
1485, but kept Zante, which thus, from 1482 onwards, was governed by 
them, on payment of an annual tribute of 500 ducats to the Turkish 
treasury 1 . This tribute ceased in 1699, when the treaty of Carlovitz 
formally ceded the island, free of payment, to the Republic. The 
Venetians invited colonists to emigrate thither, in order to fill up the 
gaps in the population; for the Turks had carried off many of the 
inhabitants to Constantinople, for the purpose of breeding mulatto 
slaves for the seraglio by intermarriage with negroes. As there were 
many homeless exiles at the time, in consequence of the Turkish 
conquests in the Levant, there was no lack of response to this invitation, 
and Zante soon became a flourishing community. Its wealth was 
further increased, in the sixteenth century, by the introduction of the 
currant from the neighbourhood of Corinth, so that at that period it 
merited its poetic title of "the flower of the Levant." Cephalonia did 
not long remain in Turkish hands. After two futile attempts to take it 
the Venetians succeeded, in 1500, with the aid of the famous Spanish 
commander, Gonsalvo de Cordoba, in capturing the island, and at the 
peace of 1502-3 the Republic was finally confirmed in its possession, 
which was never afterwards disturbed. Ithake seems to have followed 
the fate of its larger neighbour. Santa Maura 2 , however, though taken 
two years after Cephalonia, was almost at once restored to the Turks, 
and did not become Venetian till its capture by Morosini in 1684, which 
was ratified by the treaty of Carlovitz fifteen years later. It had long 
been a thorn in the side of the Venetians, as it was, under the Turkish 

1 Finlay, v. 62; Sathas, ~Mv7ifjL€ia'E\\7}i>uciis 'Iffropias, 1. 315. 

2 This mediaeval name, "the black saint," applied first to a fortress, then to a 
chapel on the site of the fortress, then (like Negroponte) to the whole island, is said 
by Saint-Sauveur ( Voyage Historique, LittSraire et Pitloresque, 11. 339) to have come 
in with the Tocchi, and to be derived from the black image of the Virgin in the 
cathedral at Toledo. It occurs, however, in a Neapolitan document of 1343, a 
Venetian document of 1355, and a Serbian golden bull of 1361 and is mentioned in 
the French version of the Chronicle of the Morea, probably written between 1333 
and 1341. It has now been officially superseded by the classic Levkas. 



204 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

rule, a dangerous nest of pirates, against whom the Corfiotes more than 
once fitted out punitive expeditions. When Santa Maura was reluctantly 
given back to the Sultan in 1503, part of the population emigrated 
to Ithake, then almost desolate 1 , and at the same time Cephalonia 
received an influx of Greeks from the Venetian possessions on the main- 
land which the Turks had just taken. Kythera, or Cerigo, which is not 
geographically an Ionian island at all, and is no longer connected with 
the other six, was the property of the great Venetian family of Venier, 
which traced its name and origin from Venus, the goddess of Kythera, 
from 1207, with certain interruptions and modifications, down to the 
fall of the Republic. These Venetian Marquesses of Cerigo were ousted 
by the Greeks under Licario after the restoration of Byzantine rule in the 
South of the Peloponnese in 1262. The Emperor bestowed the island 
upon Paul Monoyannes, a member of one of the three great Monem- 
vasiote families, but in 1309 intermarriage between the children of the 
Greek and Latin lords restored it to the Venieri, who divided it up into 
twenty-four shares. But the participation of the Venieri in the Cretan 
insurrection of 1363 led to the transformation of their island into a 
Venetian colony. Thirty years later, however, thirteen out of the twenty- 
four shares were restored to them, while the Venetian Governor was 
dependent upon the Cretan administration, so long as Crete remained 
Venetian, and upon the Government of the Morea during the Venetian 
occupation in the early part of the eighteenth century. After the peace 
of Passarovitz he became the subordinate of the provveditore generate del 
Levante at Corfu, and the former "eye of Crete" was thenceforth 
treated as one of the seven Ionian Islands for the remainder of the 
Venetian rule. 

Besides the seven islands Venice also acquired, at different periods 
after her occupation of Corfu, several dependencies on the mainland 
opposite. Of these, owing to its dramatic history in the days of the 
British protectorate, the most interesting was Parga, first taken in 140 1 2 . 
As the landing-place for the famous rock of Suli, with which in a famous 
line Byron has connected it, it was a place of some importance, and was 
fortified by the Venetians as an outpost against the Turks. But the 
Republic ultimately found that it cost more than it was worth, and 
several times in vain urged the inhabitants to emigrate over the narrow 
channel to Anti-Paxo, or to settle in Corfu. But then, as in 1819, the 
Pargians showed a touching, if inconvenient, attachment to their 
ancient home, perhaps not unmixed with the desire to continue the 

1 Hopf, in Ersch und Gruber's Allgemeine Encyklopadie , lxxxvi. 168. 
1 Marmora, Delia Historia di Corfit, p. 253. 



THE IONIAN ISLANDS UNDER VENETIAN RULE 205 

lucrative traffic of selling the munitions of war, sent from Venice for 
their own defence, to the neighbouring Turks. Butrinto, opposite the 
northern end of Corfu, had voluntarily surrendered to the Venetians 
soon after their final occupation of that island, and, like Parga, was 
fortified with works, of which the remains may still be seen. During the 
Venetian rule of the Ionian Islands Butrinto, well known to sportsmen 
for its duck-shooting, and to scholars for the allusion in the JEneid 1 , was 
several times captured and recaptured. The fisheries in the lakes there, 
which had once been the property of Cicero's friend Atticus, were of 
considerable value to the Venetians 2 , as they are still to the present 
proprietors; and the place became definitely assured to the Republic in 
1718, at which date Vonitza inside, and Prevesa at the entrance of, the 
Ambrakian Gulf, the latter a stronghold of corsairs and an important 
military position which resisted the Greek bombardment during the 
Greco-Turkish war of 1897, were also confirmed to Venice. The value 
set by the Venetians upon these continental dependencies may be judged 
from the fact that they were called "the eyes and ears of the Republic 
on the mainland." 

The administration of the islands during the Venetian period was 
modelled on that of the Republic. In Corfu, the first occupied and most 
important of the seven, the chief Venetian functionary was known as the 
bailie, who was subsequently assisted by two noble Venetian councillors, 
and by a third official, called provveditore e capitano, who was in command 
of the garrison and resided in the fortress. The strong castle of Sant' 
Angelo, on the west coast, which was never taken though often besieged, 
was entrusted to a special officer. But the power of the bailie was soon 
overshadowed by that of the commander of the fleet, which was soon 
stationed at Corfu, and for which the arsenal at Govino, of which large 
and imposing ruins still remain, was built. This naval authority was the 
provveditore generate del Levante ; he was usually appointed for three years, 
and exercised very important functions at the time when Venice was 
still a first-class eastern power. Strict orders were issued to all these 
officials that they should respect the rights of the natives, and spies, 
known as "inquisitors over the affairs of the Levant," were sent from 
time to time to the islands for the purpose of checking the Venetian 
administration and of ascertaining the grievances of the governed, who 
had also the privilege, which they often exercised, of sending special 
missions to Venice to lay their complaints before the home government. 

1 "Celsam Buthroti accedimus urbem," in. 293. 
* Cicero ad Atticutn, I v. 8 a; Marmora, p. 431. 



206 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

Ionian historians, after due deduction is made for the strong Venetian 
bias of the privileged class from which they sprang, are agreed that 
redress was almost invariably granted, though the abuses of which the 
natives complained were apt to grow up again. Thus when, in the early 
part of the seventeenth century, the Corfiotes sent envoys to point out 
the excesses committed by the sailors of the fleet the Venetian govern- 
ment forbade the men to land on the island 1 . Not long afterwards we 
find the "inquisitors" ordering the removal of all statues and epitaphs 
erected to the Venetian officials at Corfu, in order to prevent this slavish 
practice, which had descended to the Greeks from the Roman days 2 . 
And somewhat later the exactions of the Venetian officials were stopped. 
A large share in the local administration was granted to the inhabitants, 
or rather to those of noble birth, for Corfiote society was divided into 
the three classes of nobles, burghers, and manual labourers. At first 
the so-called national council was a much more democratic body, 
including many foreigners and local tradesmen. But the latter and their 
children were gradually excluded from it, the entrance of the former was 
restricted, and in 1440 the functions of the national council were strictly 
limited to the annual election of a smaller body, the communal, or city, 
council — a body composed at the outset of seventy, and, half a century 
later, of 150 members, a total which was maintained till the last years of 
Venetian rule, when the numbers were reduced to sixty. For the pur- 
poses of this annual election the members of the national council met 
in a quaint old house, decorated with pictures of Nausikaa welcoming 
Odysseus, and of other scenes from the early history of Corcyra, and 
situated between the old fortress and the town. This interesting 
memorial of Venetian rule has long since been swept away. 

The council of 150, which thus became the governing body of the 
island, was composed of Greeks as well as Latins, and formed a close 
oligarchy. Once only, during the crisis of the Candian war, it was 
resolved to add to it those citizens who would pay a certain sum towards 
the expenses of that costly struggle 3 . It had the right of electing every 
year certain officials, called syndics (ctvv&ikoi), at first four in number — 
two Greeks and two Latins — and at a later period, when the numbers 
of the Latins had declined, only three. These syndics were required to be 
more than thirty-eight (at another period thirty-five) years of age, and 
were regarded as the special representatives of the community of Corfu. 
Those who felt themselves wronged looked to them for redress, and, in 
accordance with the economic heresies of that age, they regulated prices 

1 Marmora, p. 387. * Ibid. p. 396; Saint-Sauveur, 1. 345. 

3 Marmora, p. 420. 



THE IONIAN ISLANDS UNDER VENETIAN RULE 207 

in the markets — a curious interference with the usual Levantine practice 
of bargaining. The council of 150 also elected three judges, of whom one 
must always be a Latin; but these officials possessed no more than a 
consultative vote, and the real decision of cases rested with the bailie 
and his two councillors. No local offices — and there were many in 
Venetian days — were held for more than a year; most of them were 
purely honorary, and all were in the gift of the council of 150. One of 
the most important was that of trierarch, or captain of the Corfiote war 
galleys, an official whom the Venetians wisely allowed these experienced 
seamen, worthy descendants of the seafaring Phaiakians of the Odyssey, 
to elect. Two campaigns entitled a Corfiote officer to the rank of captain 
in the Republican fleet, and it would have been well if the British had 
followed in this respect the example of their predecessors 1 , and thus 
opened a naval career to the Ionians. The Corfiote nobles also commanded 
the town militia, composed of about 500 artisans, and called "ap- 
prentices," or scolari, who received immunity from taxation in lieu of 
pay and exercised on Sundays alone. Each village provided a certain 
number of rural police. In imitation of the similar record at Venice a 
Golden Book was established, containing the names of the Corfiote 
nobles. When the latter were much diminished in numbers by the first 
great siege of the island by the Turks in 1537 new families were added 
to the list from the burgher class, and Marmora gives the names of 112 
noble families existing at the time when he wrote his history, in 1672 2 . 
The Golden Book was burned as the symbol of hated class distinction 
in the first enthusiasm for liberty, equality, and fraternity after the 
French republicans took possession of Corfu. 

The Venetians had found the feudal system already in existence 
when they took over the island, where it had been introduced in Byzantine 
days, and they had promised to maintain it. We are told by Marmora 
that there were twenty-four baronies there in former times, and later 
on the total seems to have been a dozen. In the last century of Venetian 
rule there were fifteen 3 . Occasionally the Venetians created a new fief, 
such as that of the gipsies, to reward public services. The ^AOCyyavoc, 
or gipsies, who were about 100 in number, were subject to the exclusive 
jurisdiction of the baron, upon whom their fief had been bestowed, "an 
office," as Marmora says, " of not a little gain and of very great honour." 
They had their own military commander, and every year on May 1 they 
marched under his leadership to the sound of drums and fifes, bearing 

1 Viscount Kirkwall, Four Years in the Ionian Islands, 1. 28. 

2 Marmora, p. 312. 

3 Lounzes, Ilepi ttjs ■o-oXitiktjs KaTcurrcureus Trjs'Eirravrfiffov €irl 'Everui>, pp. 188— 90; 
Hopf, ubi supra, lxxxvi. 186. 



208 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

aloft their baron's standard and carrying a maypole, decked with 
flowers, to the square in front of the house where the great man lived. 
There they set up their pole and sang a curious song in honour of their 
lord 1 , who provided them with refreshment and on the morrow received 
from them their dues. Every feudatory was compelled to keep one horse 
for the defence of the island, and was expected to appear with it on May 
Day on parade. The peasants were worse off under this feudal system 
than their fellows on the mainland under Turkish rule. They had no 
political rights whatever; they were practically serfs, and were summed 
up in the capitulations at the time of the Venetian occupation together 
with "the other movable and immovable goods" of their lords 2 . A 
decision of the year 1641 that no one should vote in the council who had 
not a house in the city must also have tended to produce absenteeism, 
still one of the evils of Corfu, where at the present day only four landed 
proprietors live on their estates. A distaste for country life, always a 
marked feature of Greek society, may thus have been increased, and the 
concentration of all the nobles and men of position in the town, which 
is now ascribed at Corfu to the lucrative posts and gaieties of the capital 
during the British protectorate, would seem to have begun much earlier. 
Occasionally we hear of a peasants' rising against their oppressors. Thus 
in 1652 a movement of the kind had to be put down by force; but the 
Venetian government, engaged at the time in the Candian war, did not 
think it desirable to punish the insurgents. Somewhat earlier a demo- 
cratic agitation for granting a share in the local administration was 
vetoed by the Republic. Marmora remarks in his time that "the 
peasants are never contented; they rise against their lords on the 
smallest provocation 3 ." Yet, until the last century of her rule, Venice 
had little trouble with the inhabitants. She kept the nobles in good 
humour by granting them political privileges, titles, and the entrance 
to the Venetian navy, and, so long as the Turk was a danger, she was 
compelled, from motives of prudence, to pay a due regard to their 
wishes. As for the other two classes of the population they hardly 
entered into the calculations of Venetian statesmen. 

No foreign government can govern Greeks if it is harsh to the national 
church and clergy, and the shrewd Venetians, as might have been 
anticipated, were much less bigoted than the Angevins. While, on the 
one hand, they gave, as Catholics, precedence to the Catholic Church, 
they never forgot that the interests of the Republic were of more 
importance than those of the Papacy. Accordingly, in the Ionian islands 

1 The words are quoted in the OSriyos ri?s vj\aov Kepxibpas (1902). 

* Mustoxidi, p. lxvi. 3 Marmora, pp. 394, 419, 445. 



THE IONIAN ISLANDS UNDER VENETIAN RULE 209 

no less than in Crete, they studiously prevented any encroachments on 
the part of either the (Ecumenical Patriarch or the Pope. Their ecclesi- 
astical policy is well expressed in an official decree, "that the Greeks 
should have liberty to preach and teach the holy word, provided only 
that they say nothing about the republic or against the Latin religion 1 ." 
Mixed marriages were allowed; and, as the children usually became 
Orthodox, it is not surprising to learn that twenty years before the close 
of the Venetian occupation there were only two noble Latin families in 
Corfu which still adhered to the Catholic faith, while at Cephalonia 
Catholicism was almost exclusively confined to the garrison 2 . The 
Venetians retained, however, the externals of the Angevin system. The 
head of the Orthodox Church in Corfu was still called "chief priest" 
{fieyas 7r/3o>T07ra7ra<?), while the coveted title of Archbishop was 
reserved for the chief of the Catholic clergy. The "chief priest" was 
elected by the assembled urban clergy and 30 nobles, and held office 
for five years, at the end of which he sank into the ranks of the ordinary 
popes, from whom he was then only distinguished by his crimson sash. 
Merit had, as a rule, less to do with his election than his relationship 
to a noble family and the amount of the pecuniary arguments which he 
applied to the pockets of the electors, and for which he recouped himself 
by his gains while in office. In each of the four bailiwicks into which 
Corfu was then divided, and in the island of Paxo, there was a 
7rpa)T07ra7ra9, under the jurisdiction of the "chief priest," who was 
dependent upon no other ecclesiastical authority than that of the 
(Ecumenical Patriarch, with whom, however, he was only allowed to 
correspond through the medium of the Venetian bailie at Constantinople. 
Two liberal Popes, Leo X and Paul III, expressly forbade any inter- 
ference with the religious services of the Greeks on the part of the Latin 
Archbishop; and upon the introduction of the Gregorian calendar it was 
specially stipulated by Venice 3 that in the Ionian islands Latins as well 
as Greeks should continue to use the old method of reckoning, in order 
to avoid the confusion of two Easters and two Christmasses in one and 
the same community. When we consider how strong, even to-day, is the 
opposition of the Orthodox Church to the new style, we can understand 
how gratifying this special exemption must have been to the Greeks of 
that period. 

From these causes there was less bitterness than in most other places 
between the adherents of the two churches. The Catholics took part in 
the religious processions of the Orthodox. When the body of St Spiridion 
was carried round the town the Venetian authorities and many of the 

1 Lounzes, p. 101. * Saint-Sauveur, 11. 15-21. 8 Marmora, p. 369. 

M. 14 



210 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

garrison paid their respects to the sacred relics; twenty-one guns were 
fired from the Old Fortress, and the ships in the harbour saluted; and 
the enlightened Catholic Archbishop, Quirini, author of a work on the 
antiquities of Corfu, actually went in full state to the Greek church of 
St Spiridion on the festival of that saint 1 . The Orthodox clergy recipro- 
cated these attentions by meeting the Catholics in the church of St 
Arsenios, a tenth-century bishop and first Metropolitan of Corfu, where 
the discordant chanting of Greeks and Latins represented their theological 
concord, and by praying for the Pope and the Latin Archbishop at the 
annual banquet at the latter's palace. They were ready, also, to ex- 
communicate refractory villages at the bidding of the government, and 
this practice, which filled the superstitious people with terror, was one 
of the greatest social abuses of Corfu. It was put into force against 
individuals on the least provocation, and we are told that the same 
priest was quite willing to provide a counter-excommUnication for a 
consideration 2 . 

The position of the Corfiote Jews, though far less favourable than 
that of the Orthodox, was much better than that of the Hebrew colonies 
in other parts of the Venetian dominions. In the very first days of the 
Venetian occupation an order was issued to the officials of the Republic, 
bidding them behave well to the Jewish community and to put no 
heavier burdens upon them than upon the rest of the islanders. Many 
of the Venetian governors found it convenient to borrow not only money, 
but furniture, plate, and liveries from them. That they increased — owing 
to the Jewish immigration from Spain and Portugal in 1492 and from 
Naples and Calabria half a century later — in numbers under the 
Venetians may be inferred from Marmora's statement that in 1665 there 
were about 500 Jewish houses in Corfu, and the historian, who shared to 
the full the natural dislike for the Hebrew race which is so characteristic 
of the Greeks and so cordially reciprocated by the Jews, naively remarks 
that the Corfiote Jews would be rich if they were let alone 3 . A century 
later they had monopolised all the trade as middlemen, and the landed 
proprietors were in their debt. They paid none of the usual taxes levied 
on Jewish banks at Venice, and when, by the decree of 1572, the Jews 
were banished from Venetian territory, a special exemption was granted 
to those of Corfu. They were allowed to practise there as advocates, with 
permission to defend Christians no less than members of their own race. 
They had their own council and elected their own officials, and a law of 
1614 prohibits the practice of digging up their dead bodies, under pain 
of hanging. At the same time they had to submit to some degrading 

1 Idromenos, p. 87. 2 Saint-Sauveur, 11. 22-31. 8 Marmora, p. 430. 



THE IONIAN ISLANDS UNDER VENETIAN RULE 211 

restrictions. They were compelled to wear a yellow mark on the breast, 
or a yellow hat, as a badge of servitude, and an ordinance of 1532 
naively remarks that this was " a substitute for the custom of stoning, 
which does so much injury to the houses." True, a money payment to 
the treasury secured a dispensation from the necessity of wearing these 
stigmas; but there was no exception to the rule which enjoined upon all 
Jews residence in a separate part of the city, where they were divided 
into two groups, each with its own synagogue. Even to-day the Jewish 
quarter in the town of Corfu is known as the Hebraika. Absurd tales 
were current about them. Travellers were told that one of them was a 
lineal descendant of Judas, and it was rumoured that a young Jewish 
girl was about to give birth to a Messiah. They were not allowed to 
possess real property or to take land or villas on lease, with the exception 
of one house for the personal use of the lessee. But the effect of this 
enactment was nullified by means of mortgages; and if a Jew wanted to 
invest money in houses he had no difficulty in finding a Christian who 
would purchase or rent them with borrowed Jewish capital. They were 
expected to offer a copy of the law of Moses to a new Latin Archbishop, 
who sometimes delighted the Corfiotes by lecturing them on their 
shortcomings, and sometimes, like Quirini, was tolerant of their creed. 
Finally, they were forbidden to indulge in public processions — an 
injunction perhaps quite as much in their own interest as in that of the 
public peace 1 . 

The Venetian government did practically nothing for education 
during the four centuries of its rule in the Ionian islands. No public 
schools were founded, for, as Count Viaro Capodistria informed the 
British parliament much later, the Venetian senate never allowed such 
institutions to be established in the Ionian islands 2 . The administration 
was content to pay a few teachers of Greek and Italian in Corfu and one 
in each of the other islands. There was also some private instruction to 
be had, and the promising young men of the best families, eager to be 
doctors or lawyers, were sent to complete their education at the university 
of Padua. But the attainment of a degree at that seat of learning was 
not arduous, for by a special privilege the Ionians could take their degree 
without examination. And the Ionian student after his return soon 
forgot what he had learned, retaining only the varnish of culture. There 
were exceptions, however, to this low standard. It was a Corfiote who 

1 Lounzes, pp. 178-82; Romanos, 'H'E£pai7cT? Koworrjs rrjs Kepictpas; Pinkerton's 
Collection of Travels, ix. 4; Marmora, pp. 255, 286, 370, 430, 437. The last writer 
approvingly says about the Jews, loro non conviene di stabile, che il sepolcro. 

1 Viaro Capodistria, Remarks respectfully submitted to the Consideration of the 
British Parliament, p. 64. 

14 — 2 



212 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

founded at Venice, in 1626, the Greek school, called Flangineion, after 
the name of its founder, Flangines, which did so much for the improve- 
ment of Greek education 1 ; while it was a Cephalonian, Nikodemos 
Metaxas, who about the same time set up the first Greek printing press 
in Constantinople, which he had purchased in England 2 . But even in 
the latest Venetian period there were few facilities for attaining know- 
ledge in Corfu. We are told that at that time reading and writing — the 
highest attainments of the average Greek pope — could be picked up in 
one of the monasteries, and Latin in the school of some Catholic priest, 
but that there were no other opportunities of mental cultivation there. 
The historian Mario Pieri, himself a native of Corfu, remarks that 
towards the close of the eighteenth century, when he was a boy, there 
were no public schools, no hbrary, no printing press, and no regular 
bookseller in the island, and the only literature that could be bought 
there consisted of a grammar and a Latin dictionary, displayed in the 
shop of a chemist 3 . No wonder that the Corfiotes were easier to manage 
in those days than in the more enlightened British times, when news- 
papers abounded and some of the best pens in southern Europe were 
ready to lampoon the British protectorate. 

Yet, even under the Venetians, that love of literature which has 
always characterised the Greeks did not become wholly extinct. Jacobo 
Triboles, a Corfiote resident at Venice, published in the sixteenth century 
in his native dialect a poem, the subject of which was taken from 
Boccaccio, called the History of the King of Scotland and the Queen of 
England. Another literary Corfiote, author of a Lament for the Fall of 
Greece, was Antonios Eparchos, a versatile genius, at once poet, Hellenist, 
and soldier, upon whom the fief of the gipsies was conferred for his 
services 4 . Several other Corfiote bards sang of the Venetian victories, 
while, in 1672, Andrea Marmora, a member of a noble family still extant 
in Corfu, published in Italian the first history of his country from the 
earliest times to the loss of Crete by the Venetians. Subsequent writers 
have criticised Marmora's effusive style, his tendency to invent details, 
his intense desire to glorify the most serene Republic 5 . But his work is 
quaintly written and he thoroughly reflects the f eelings of his class and 

1 Marmora, p. 433; Paparregopoulos, 'Iffropla tov 'EWtjvikov "EOvovs (4th ed.)„ 
v. 644. 

* Ibid. v. 530. 

3 Idromenos, 2w<mttik^ 'Iffropla rrjs Kepictipas, p. go, and the same author's essay 
Ilepi tijs iv rats 'lovlots vJjffois iKwaideiffewi. 

* Paparregopoulos, v. 635; Sathas, TovptcoKpaTovfiivr} 'EXXds, p. 127; NeoeXX^ucfy 
$1X0X0710, pp. 138, 165. 

* Quirini, Primordia CovcyrcB, pp. 167, 168; Mustoxidi, Illustrazioni Corciresi, 
1. 10, 11. 



THE IONIAN ISLANDS UNDER VENETIAN RULE 213 

era. In 1725 Quirini, whom we have already mentioned as Latin Arch- 
bishop of Corfu, issued the first edition of a Latin treatise on the 
antiquities of his see, which was followed, thirteen years later, by a 
second and enlarged edition. In 1656 an academy of thirty members, 
known as the Assicurati, was founded at Corfu 1 , and only succumbed 
amid the dangers of the Turkish siege of 17 16. A second literary society 
was started about the same time, and a third saw the light in 1732. 
Of the other islands Cephalonia produced in the seventeenth century 
a priest of great oratorical gifts in the person of Elias Meniates. In short, 
the Frankish influence, which had practically no literary result on the 
mainland, was much more felt in the intellectual development of the 
Ionians. But this progress was gained at the expense of the Greek 
language, which, under the Venetians, became solely the tongue of the 
peasants. Even to-day Greek is almost the only language understood 
in the country districts of Corfu, while Italian is readily spoken in the 
town. In the Venetian times the Venetian dialect was the conversational 
medium of good society, and the young Corfiote, fresh from his easy- 
won laurels at Padua, looked down with contempt upon the noblest and 
most enduring of all languages. Yet it will never be forgotten in Corfu 
that in the resurrection and regeneration of Greek two Corfiotes of the 
eighteenth century, Eugenios Boulgaris and Nikephoros Theotokes, 
played a leading part. The former in particular was the pioneer of Greek as 
it is written to-day, the forerunner of the more celebrated Koraes, and he 
dared to write, to the disgust of the clergy, in a language which the people 
could understand. But, as his best work was done at Joannina, then the 
chief educational centre of the Greek race, it concerns the general 
history of Greece under the Turks rather than that of the seven islands 2 . 
Ionian commerce was hampered by the selfish colonial policy then 
prevalent in Europe, which aimed at concentrating all colonial trade in 
the metropolis, through which the exports of the islands had to pass. 
This naturally led to a vast amount of smuggling, even now rampant 
in the Greek Archipelago, in which the British gained an unenviable 
pre-eminence and for which they sometimes paid with their fives. The 
oil trade, the staple industry of Corfu, was, however, greatly fostered by 
the grant of 360 drachmai for every plantation of 100 olive trees, and we 
find that, in the last half -century of the Venetian rule, there were nearly 
two millions of these trees in that island, which exported 60,000 barrels 
of oil every second year. The taxes consisted of a tithe of the oil, the 

1 Marmora, p. 425. 

* Finlay, v. 284-5; Idromenos, ^vvottikt) 'laropia -rijs KepAci/pas, pp. 91-3; Papar- 
regopoulos, v. 645-7. 



214 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

crops, and the agricultural produce, and a money payment on the wine, 
a "chimney tax" on each house, and an export duty of 15 per cent, on 
the oil, 9 per cent, on the salt, and 4 per cent, on other articles. There was 
also an import duty of 6 per cent, on Venetian and of 8 per cent, on 
foreign, goods. The revenue of Zante was so greatly benefited by the 
introduction of the currant industry that it increased more than forty- 
fold in the space of thirty years during the sixteenth century, and a 
hundred years later the traveller Spon said it deserved the name of the 
"island of gold " and called it " a terrestrial paradise." But the wholesale 
conversion of corn fields into currant plots caused such alarm that the 
local authorities applied to Venice for permission to root up the currant 
bushes by force. The Republic replied by allowing the currants to 
remain, but at the same time levying a tax upon them, the proceeds of 
which were devoted to the purchase and storage of bread stuffs. The 
currant industry of that island was injured by further duties, and was 
thus placed at a disadvantage as compared with the lightly taxed 
currants of the Morea. But in the eighteenth century such numbers of 
English ships came to Zante to load currants that the place had an 
English consul, two English offices, and an English cemetery, while our 
countrymen were very popular there 1 . One of the English families, 
attracted thither by the currant trade, that of Sergeant, still flourishes 
there. These public granaries were also instituted at Corfu, which 
continued, however, to suffer severely from famines. At the time when 
Zante was so prosperous Corfu was less productive, and we accordingly 
hear that the Venetians obtained permission from the Pope to levy a 
tithe on the goods of the Catholic clergy, in order to defray the costs of 
maintenance. The salt pans of Levkimo, at the south of the island, 
formed a government monopoly, and the importation of foreign salt 
was punished by banishment 2 . In order, perhaps, to counteract the 
excessive usury of the Corfiote Jews, the government established an 
official pawnshop 3 , where money was lent at a moderate rate of interest 
— 6 per cent. 

The administration of the other six islands was on similar lines to 
that of Corfu. The nearest of them, Paxo, with its dependency, Anti- 
Paxo, was treated as part of that island, and, as we have seen, the 
Corfiote "chief priest" had ecclesiastical jurisdiction over it, just as 
nowadays the Greek Archbishop of Corfu is also styled "of the Paxoi." 
In 15 13, however, Paxo, together with the taxes which it paid, 
was sold by the Venetians to the heirs of a Corfiote noble, who 

1 Saint-Sauveur, m. 112, 140, 199, 260, 268, 277. 

* Jervis, History of the Island of Corfii, p. 125. ■ Marmora, p. 389. 



THE IONIAN ISLANDS UNDER VENETIAN RULE 215 

treated its inhabitants so badly that many of them fled to Turkish 
territory. At last the provveditore generate del Levante, under whose 
province the affairs of these islands came, interfered, fixed the taxes 
of Paxos at a certain sum, and appointed a native with a title of 
capitano to govern it as the representative of the provveditore e capitano 
at Corfu. Zante was administered during the first half-century of 
Venetian rule by a single provveditore; but when the population had 
considerably increased the Zantiotes, like the Cephalonians, had need 
of further officials — two councillors and a secretary, all Venetian 
nobles — who assisted the provveditore, and, like him, were appointed 
for two years. In both Cephalonia and Zante there were a general 
council, composed of the nobles, and a smaller council, whose 
numbers were finally fixed in Zante at 150. The character of these 
two islands, separated by such a narrow channel of sea, was, how- 
ever, widely different. Zante was much more aristocratic in its ideas, 
though the feudal system, against which the popular rising of 1628 
was directed, prevailed in both islands alike, where it had been intro- 
duced by the Latin counts, Zante having twelve fiefs and Cephalonia 
six 1 . But Cephalonia, owing to its purer Hellenic population, was 
actuated by the democratic sentiments engrained in the Greek character. 
The meetings of the Cephalonian council were remarkable for their 
turbulence, of which the authorities frequently complained, and a 
retiring governor of that island drew up a report to the home govern- 
ment in 1754 in which he described in vivid colours the tendency of the 
strong to tyrannise over the weak, which he had found common to all 
classes, and which caused annoyance to the government and frequent 
disturbances of the public peace 2 . British officials had in turn a similar 
experience, and Mr Gladstone discovered that the vendetta was not 
extinct in the wild mountainous regions of Cephalonia when he visited 
the Ionian islands on his celebrated mission. Venice fostered the 
quarrels between the various parties at Argostoli, and governed the 
unruly Cephalonians by means of their own divisions. In Zante the 
number of the noble families, at first indefinite, was finally fixed at 
ninety-three ; and if any became extinct the vacancy was filled by the 
ennoblement of a family of burghers. Once a year the provveditore 
generate del Levante paid a visit of inspection to these islands; his arrival 
was the greatest event of the whole calendar, and etiquette prescribed 
the forms to be observed on his landing. He was expected to kiss first 
the cross presented to him by the Latin bishop, and then the copy of 

1 Hopf, ubi supra, lxxxvi. 186. Sathas, Mvq/ucta, iv. p. xxxvii; 'E\Xip«Ka 
'AviKdoTa, 1. 157-93. 2 Quoted by Lounzes, p. 63 n. 



216 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

the Gospels offered to him by the spiritual head of the Orthodox com- 
munity. 

Leonardo Tocco had restored the Greek episcopal throne in Cepha- 
lonia, and in the Venetian times, promoted to the rank of an archbishopric, 
it continued to exist with jurisdiction over the Greeks at Zante and 
Ithake, which was often disputed by the "chief priest" (irpaiToira'rra^) 
of Zante, where a Latin bishop also resided. This dispute was at last 
settled by a decree of the senate that the Cephalonian clergy should 
retain the right to elect their prelate on condition of choosing a Zantiote 
on every third vacancy 1 . In Zante, as in Corfu, the Jews were a con- 
siderable factor; at the close of the Venetian rule they numbered about 
2000, and lived in a separate quarter of the city, walled in and guarded; 
and the island was remarkable for the violent anti-Semitic riots of 1712 2 , 
arising out of the usual fiction of the slaughtered Christian child, which 
found their counterpart at Corfu in our own time. But the greatest evil 
in these less important islands was that their proweditori, being chosen 
from the poorer Venetian aristocracy, the so-called barnabotti, and 
receiving small salaries, made up for their lack of means by corruption, 
just as the Turkish officials do now. The efforts of the home government 
to check the abuse of bribery, by forbidding its officials to receive 
presents, were not always successful. The discontent of the lesser islands 
found vent in the embassies which they had the right to send to Venice, 
and we occasionally hear of their proweditori being detected in taking 
bribes. More rarely the provveditore generate himself was degraded from 
his high office for malversation. Accordingly the most recent Greek 
historian of the fiscal administration of the islands under the Venetians, 
considers that it was fortunate for them to have been taken, and lost, by 
Venice when they were 3 . 

Anything which concerns the supposed home of Odysseus must 
necessarily be of interest, and fortunately we have some facts about 
the government of Ithake at this period. We first hear of a Venetian 
governor there in 1504, when the island had been repeopled by 
emigrants from Santa Maura, and this official was assisted by two local 
magnates, called "elders of the people" (SrjfiojepovTe^). In 1536 a life 
governor was appointed, and upon his death, in 1563, a noble from 
Cephalonia, appointed by the council of that island, was sent to 

1 Saint-Sauveur, in. 8, 91. When, in the sixteenth century, the Cephalonians 
claimed precedence over Zante, they quoted to the Venetians, in support of their 
claim, the fact that in the Homeric catalogue the people of Zakynthos are only 
cited as the subjects of Odysseus (Sathas, MvTi/ieXa, iv. p. iv). 

* Hopf, ubi supra, lxxxvi. 186; Saint-Sauveur, in. 201. 

* Andreades, Hepl t?)s oIkovo/miktjs 5totKi}<rews rrj^'Eirrav^ffov iirl BeveroKparlat (1914). 



THE IONIAN ISLANDS UNDER VENETIAN RULE 217 

administer it with the two "elders," subject to the approval of the 
provveditore generate, who visited Ithake every March. The Ithakans 
twice successfully complained to Venice of their Cephalonian governors, 
who were accused of extortion and of improper interference in local 
affairs. Accordingly in 1697 the office was abolished, and thenceforth the 
two Ithakan " elders " held sway alone, while every year the principalmen 
of the island met to elect the local officials. Small as it is, Ithake formed 
one feudal barony 1 , of which the Galati were the holders, and its popu- 
lation at the close of the Venetian period was estimated at about 7000. 

Santa Maura was more democratic in its constitution than most of 
the islands; for when Morosini took it from the Turks he permitted the 
inhabitants to decide how they would be governed. Accordingly the 
general council came in course of time to be largely composed of 
peasants; but when, towards the close of the eighteenth century, the 
Venetian government sent a special commissioner to reform the con- 
stitutions of the seven islands he created a second and smaller council of 
fifty at Santa Maura, to which the election of the local officials was 
transferred. Venice was represented there by two proweditori, one of 
whom had jurisdiction over the continental dependencies of Prevesa and 
Vonitza, subject, however, to the supreme authority of the commander 
of the fleet at Corfu 2 . Parga and Butrinto were entrusted to two officers 
sent from the seat of the Ionian government; the former had its own 
council, its own local officials, and paid neither taxes nor duties. All its 
inhabitants were soldiers, and many of them pirates, and they were 
known to imprison a Venetian governor, just as the Albanians of our 
time besieged a Turkish vali, till they could get redress 3 . 

Finally the distant island of Kythera was administered by a Venetian 
noble sent thither every two years. While it was a dependency of Crete 
Kythera fell into a very bad state; its chief men indulged in constant 
dissensions; the government was arbitrary, the garrison exacting. In 
1572 an attempt was made to remedy these evils by the establishment of 
a council of thirty members, elected on a property qualification, with 
the power of electing the- local authorities. A Golden Book was started, 
and the natives were granted the usual privilege of appeal to the 
Venetian government, either in Crete or at the capital. All the islands 
shared with Corfu the right of electing the captains of their own galleys, 
and they on more than one occasion rendered valuable services to the 
Republic at sea. 

1 Lounzes, pp. 83-5; Hopf, ubi supra, lxxxvi. 160, 186; Grivas, 'loropta rrjs 
1 Lounzes, p. 77; Saint-Sauveur, n. 351. * Saint-Sauveur, 11. 239-48. 



218 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

There had been, as we have noticed, a Genoese party at Corfu when 
the fate of the island lay in the balance, and the commercial rivals of 
Venice did not abandon all hope of obtaining so desirable a possession 
until some time after the establishment of the Venetian protectorate. 
Twice, in 1403 and again in 1432, they attacked Corfu, but on both 
occasions without success. The first time they tried to capture the 
impregnable castle of Sant' Angelo, which was courageously defended 
by a Corfiote noble. The second attempt was more serious. The invaders 
effected a landing, and had already ravaged the fertile island, when a 
sudden sally of the townsfolk and the garrison checked their further 
advance. Many of the Genoese were taken prisoners, while those who 
succeeded in escaping to their vessels were pursued and severely handled 
by the Venetian fleet. The further attempts of Genoese privateers to 
waylay merchantmen on their passage between Corfu and Venice were 
frustrated, and soon the islanders had nothing to fear from these 
Christian enemies of their protectors. 

Although the Turks were rapidly gaining ground on the mainland, 
they were repulsed in the attack which they made upon Corfu in 1431, 
and did not renew the attempt for another century. Meanwhile, after 
the fall of Constantinople and the subsequent collapse of the Christian 
states of Greece, Corfu became the refuge of many distinguished exiles. 
Thomas Palaiologos, the last Despot of the Morea, and the historian 
Phrantzes fled thither; the latter wrote his history at Corfu at the 
instance of some noble Corfiotes, and lies buried in the church of Sts 
Jason and Sosipater, where Caterina Zaccaria, wife of Thomas Palaio- 
logos, also rests. About the same time the island obtained a relic which 
had the greatest influence upon its religious life. Among the treasures of 
Constantinople at the moment of the capture were the bodies of 
St Theodora, the imperial consort of the iconoclast emperor Theophilos, 
and St Spiridion, the latter a Cypriote bishop who took a prominent part 
at the council of Nice and whose remains had been transferred to 
Constantinople when the Saracens took Cyprus. A certain priest, 
Kalochairetes by name, now brought the bodies of the two saints to 
Corfu, where they arrived in 1456. Upon the priest's death his two 
eldest sons became proprietors of the male saint's remains, and his 
youngest son received those of the female, which he bestowed upon the 
community. The body of St Spiridion ultimately passed to the dis- 
tinguished family of Boulgaris, to which it still belongs, and is preserved 
in the church of the saint, just as the body of St Theodora reposes in the 
metropolitical church. Four times a year the body of St Spiridion is 
carried in procession, in commemoration of his alleged services in having 



THE IONIAN ISLANDS UNDER VENETIAN RULE 219 

twice delivered the island from plague, once from famine, and once from 
the Turks. His name is the most widespread in Corfu, and the number 
of boys called "Spiro" is legion 1 . 

During the operations against the Turks at this period the Corfiotes 
distinguished themselves by their active co-operation with their 
protectors. We find them fighting twice at Parga and twice at Butrinto; 
we hear of their prowess at the Isthmus of Corinth and beneath the walls 
of Patras in 1463, when Venice, alarmed for the safety of her Pelo- 
ponnesian stations, called the Greeks to arms ; and they assisted even in 
the purely Italian wars of the Republic. It seems, indeed, as if, at that 
period, the words of Marmora were no mere servile phrase: "Corfu was 
ever studying the means of keeping herself a loyal subject of the 
Venetians 8 ." At last, after rather more than a century of almost 
complete freedom from attack, the island was destined to undergo the 
first of the two great Turkish sieges which were the principal events in 
its annals during the Venetian occupation. In 1537 war broke out 
between the Republic and Suleyman the Magnificent, at that time 
engaged in an attack upon the Neapolitan dominions of Charles V. 
During the transport of troops and material of war across the channel of 
Otranto the Turkish and Venetian fleets came into hostile collision, and 
though Venice was ready to make amends for the mistakes of her 
officials the Sultan resolved to punish them for the insults to his flag. 
He was at Valona, on the Albanian coast, at the time, and, removing his 
camp to Butrinto, despatched a force of 25,000 men, under the command 
of the redoubtable Barbarossa, the most celebrated captain in the 
Turkish service, to take possession of the island. The Turks landed at 
Govino, destroyed the village of Potamo, and marched upon the capital, 
which at that time had no other defences than the old fort. That 
stronghold and the castle of Sant' Angelo were soon the only two points 
in the island not in the power of the invaders. A vigorous cannonade 
was maintained by Barbarossa from the site of the present town and 
from the islet of Vido, but the garrison of 4000 men, half Italians and 
half Corfiotes, under the command of Jacopo di Novello, kept up a brisk 
reply. The Greeks, it was said, could not have fought better had they 
been fighting for the national cause, and they made immense sacrifices 
in their detennination never to yield. In order to economise food they 
turned out of the fortress the women, old men, and children, who went 

1 Mrs Dawes, Saint Spiridion, translated from L. S. Brokines's work llepi tut 
h-Tjcricjis Tekovfdvuv iv KepKvpq. Xtrcweiuy rod 'Aylov "Zvvplduivos. See also Marmora, 
pp. 261-7. 

* Ibid. p. 333. 



220 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

to the Turkish lines to beg for bread. The Turkish commander, hoping 
to work on the feelings of the garrison, refused; so the miserable 
creatures, repudiated alike by the besieged and besiegers, wandered 
about distractedly between the two armies, striving to regain admission 
to the fortress by showing their ancient wounds gained in the Venetian 
service, and at last, when their efforts proved unavailing, lying down in 
the ditches to die. Their sufferings contributed largely towards the 
victory of the defenders, for while provisions held out in the fortress they 
began to fail in the camp. 

Sickness broke out among the half-starved Turks, and, after a stay 
of only thirteen days in the island, they re-embarked. But in that short 
time they had wrought enormous damage. They had ravaged the fair 
island with fire and sword, and they carried away more than 20,000 
captives 1 . The population was so greatly reduced by this wholesale 
deportation that nearly forty years afterwards the whole island con- 
tained only some 17,500 inhabitants, and rather more than a century 
after this siege a census showed that the total was not more than 50,000 
— a much smaller number than in classical days, when it is estimated to 
have been 100,000. In 1761 it had declined to 44,333 ; at the end of the 
Venetian occupation it was put down at 48,000; a century later, in 1896, 
it was 90,8722. At the census of 1907 it was 94,451. Butrinto and Paxo, 
less able to defend themselves than Corfu, fell into the hands of the Turks, 
who plundered several of the other Ionian islands. Great was the joy of 
Venice at the news that the invaders had abandoned Corfu, and public 
thanksgivings were offered up for the preservation of the island, even 
in the desolate condition in which the Turks had left it. A Corfiote, 
named Noukios, secretary of an Ambassador of Charles V and author of 
three books of travels, the second of which, relating to England, has been 
translated into English, wrote, with tears in his eyes, a graphic account 
of this terrible visitation. 

One result of this invasion was the tardy but systematic fortification 
of the town of Corfu, at the repeated request of the Corfiote council, 
which sent several embassies to Venice with that object. More than 2000 
houses were pulled down in the suburb of San Rocco to make room for 
the walls, for which the old classical city, Palaiopolis, as it is still called, 
provided materials, and Venice spent a large sum on the erection of new 
bastions. Two plans are in existence showing the fortifications of the 

1 Marmora, pp. 301-12; M. Mustoxidi, 'I<rropiica tcai $i\o\oyiKa'Ai>a\eKTa, 24-44, 
83-97; Paparregopoulos, v. 667; Sathas, TovpKOKpaTov/jLivri 'EXXds, pp. 112-18. 

8 Idromenos, LwoirriK^'IffTopla ttjs KepKvpat, pp. 24, 80, 94; Marmora, p. 414; 
Anagrafi dell' I sola di Corfu, 1761; Daru, Histoire de Venise, v. 213; Saint-Sauveur, 
II. 154. 



THE IONIAN ISLANDS UNDER VENETIAN RULE 221 

citadel and of the town about this period 1 , and some parts of the present 
Fortezza Vecchia date from the years which followed this first Turkish 
siege. The still existing Fortezza Nuova was built between 1577 and 
1588, when the new works were completed. Another result of the Turco- 
Venetian war was the grant of lands at Corfu to the Greek soldiers, or 
stradioti, who had formed the Venetian garrisons of Monemvasia and 
Nauplia, and for whom provision had to be made when, in 1540, the 
Republic ceded these two last of her Peloponnesian possessions to the 
sultan. The present suburb of Stratia still preserves the name of these 
soldiers. The loss of the Venetian stations in the Morea and the sub- 
sequent capture of Cyprus by the Turks naturally increased the numbers 
of the Greeks in Corfu. 

Shortly before the battle of Lepanto the Turks raided Kythera, 
Zante, and Cephalonia, and again landed in Corfu. But the memory 
of their previous failure and the fact that the garrison was prepared for 
resistance deterred them from undertaking a fresh siege. They accordingly 
contented themselves with plundering the defenceless villages, but this 
time did not carry off their booty with impunity. Their ships were 
routed; as they were departing many of them sank, and in Marmora's 
time the sunken wrecks could still be seen when the sea was calm 2 . In 
the battle of Lepanto 1500 Corfiote seamen took part on the Christian 
side, and four ships were contributed by the island and commanded by 
natives. One of these Corfiote captains was captured during the engage- 
ment and skinned alive, his skin being then fastened as a trophy to the 
rigging of one of the Turkish vessels. Another, Cristofalo Condocalli, 
captured the Turkish admiral's ship, which was long preserved in the 
arsenal at Venice, and he received as his reward a grant of land near 
Butrinto, together with the then rare title of cavaliere. The criticisms 
which Finlay, after his wont, has passed upon the Greeks at Lepanto, 
and which do not agree with the testimony of a contemporary Venetian 
historian, certainly do not affect the conduct of the Ionians 3 . A little 
later, when the Turks again descended upon Corfu, they were easily 
repulsed, and the long peace which then ensued between Venice and the 
Porte put an end to these anxieties. Both the Corfiotes and the local 
militia of Zante did service about this time under the banner of St Mark 
in Crete; but the fearful losses of the Zantiotes, of whom eighty only out 
of 800 returned home alive from the Cretan mountains, made the 
peasants reluctant to serve again. 

1 One plan is in Jervis, History of the Island of Corfii, p. 126, the other in 
Marmora, pp. 364-5. 

2 Marmora, p. 345. * Finlay, v. 85-6; Marmora, pp. 348-50. 



222 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

There are few facts to relate of the Ionian islands during the 
peaceful period between the battle of Lepanto and the war of Candia. 
At Corfu the peace was utilised for the erection of new buildings; the 
church of St Spiridion was finished, and the body of the saint transferred 
to it 1 . But the town did not strike the Venetian traveller Pietro della 
Valle, who visited it early in the seventeenth century, as a desirable 
residence. Both there and at Zante he thought the buildings were more 
like huts than houses, and he considered the latter island barren and no 
longer deserving of its classical epithet of "woody 2 ." It was about this 
time that the Venetians introduced the practice of tournaments, which 
were held on the esplanade, and at which the Corfiote nobles showed 
considerable skill. Rather later the island was visited by the plague, 
which was stayed, according to the local belief, through the agency of 
their patron saint, who had on a previous occasion saved his good 
Corfiotes from famine by inspiring the captains of some corn ships to 
steer straight for their port. The first two of the four annual processions 
were the token of the people's gratitude for these services 3 . 

When the Candian war broke out further fortifications were built at 
Corfu as a precautionary measure; but during the whole length of the 
struggle the Turks came no nearer than Parga and Butrinto. The 
Corfiotes were thus free to assist the Venetians, instead of requiring their 
aid. Accordingly the Corfiote militia was sent to Crete, and horses and 
money were given to the Venetian authorities for the conflict, while one 
Corfiote force successfully held Parga against the enemy, and another 
recaptured Butrinto. In fact the smallness of the population at the 
census of that period was attributed to the large number of men serving 
on the galleys or in the forts out of the island. When Crete was lost Corfu 
naturally became of increased importance to the republic, and in the 
successful war between Venice and Turkey, which broke out in 1684, 
the Ionian islands played a considerable part. They were used as winter 
quarters for the Venetian troops, and the huge mortars still outside the 
gate of the Old Fortress at Corfu bear the memorable date of 1684, while 
a monument of Morosini occupies, but scarcely adorns, the wall of the 
old theatre. That gallant commander now led a squadron, to which the 
three chief islands all contributed galleys, against the pirates' nest of 
Santa Maura. The countrymen of Odysseus are specially mentioned 
among the 2000 Ionian auxiliaries, and the warlike bishop of Cephalonia 
brought a contingent of over 150 monks and priests to the Republic's 

1 Marmora, p. 370. 

2 Pinkerton's Collection of Travels, ix. 4. 

s Marmora, pp. 389-91; Mrs Dawes, Saint Spiridion . 



THE IONIAN ISLANDS UNDER VENETIAN RULE 223 

standard 1 . Santa Maura fell after a sixteen days' siege; the capture of 
Prevesa followed; and though the latter was restored to the Sultan with 
dismantled fortifications by the treaty of Carlovitz, Santa Maura was 
never again, save for a few brief months during the next war, a Turkish 
island. The Venetians did not forget the Ionians, who had co-operated 
with them so readily. Colonel Floriano, one of the Cephalonian com- 
manders, was granted the two islets of Kalamos and Kastos, off the 
coast of Akarnania, famous in Homer as the abode of "the pirate 
Taphians." Thenceforth their inhabitants were bidden to pay to him 
and his heirs the tithes hitherto due to the Venetian government. In 
consequence of this he assumed the curious title of conte delta Decima 
(" count of the Tithe "), still borne by his descendants 2 . No wonder that 
Venice was popular with an aristocracy to which it gave employment 
and rewards. 

The occupation of the Morea by the Venetians in the early part of 
the eighteenth century secured the Ionians from disturbance so long as 
the peace lasted; but when the Turks set about the re-conquest of the 
peninsula they became involved in that last struggle between Venice 
and Turkey. In 1715 the Turkish fleet took Kythera, the garrison of 
which refused to fight, and the Venetians blew up the costly fortifica- 
tions of Santa Maura and removed the guns and garrison to Corfu, in 
order that they might not fall into the hands of their foes 3 . Alarmed at 
the successes of the Turks, but unable in the degenerate condition of the 
commonwealth to send a capable Venetian to defend the remaining 
islands, the government, on the recommendation of Prince Eugene, 
engaged Count John Matthias von der Schulenburg to undertake the 
defence. A German by birth, and a brother of the duchess of Kendal, 
mistress of our George I, Count von der Schulenburg did not owe his 
career, strange as it may seem to us, to social influence or female intrigue. 
Entering the Polish service, he had compelled the admiration of his 
opponent, Charles XII of Sweden, and had afterwards fought with 
distinction under the eyes of the duke of Marlborough at the siege of 
Tournai and in the battle of Malplaquet. Armed with the rank of field- 
marshal, he set out for Corfu, where he rapidly put the unfinished 
fortifications into as good a condition as was possible in the time, and 
paid a hurried visit to Zante for the same purpose. The approach of the 
Turks hastened his return, for it was now certain that their objective 
was Corfu. They had requisitioned the Epeirotes to make a wide road 

1 Paparregopoulos, v. 672. A Latin inscription of 1684 at Santa Maura 
bears Morosini's name. 

2 Viscount Kirkwall, Four Years in the Ionian Islands, 1. 20-30. 

* Zinkeisen, Geschichte des osmanischen Reiches in Europa, v. 501-2. 



224 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

from Thessaly down to the coast opposite that island, traces of which 
were in existence half a century ago 1 . Along this road Kara Mustapha 
Pasha marched with 65,000 men, and effected a junction at Butrinto 
with the Turkish fleet under Janum Khoja. In the narrow strait at the 
north end of the island, opposite the shrine of the virgin at Kassopo, 
which had taken the place of the altar of Jupiter Cassius, before which 
Nero had danced, a division of the Venetian fleet engaged the Turkish 
ships and cut its way through them into Corfu. But this did not prevent 
the landing of 33,000 Turks at Govino and Ipso, who encamped along 
the Potamo and made themselves masters of the suburbs of Mandoukio 
and Kastrades, on either side of the town. Meanwhile Schulenburg had 
armed all the inhabitants, including even the Jews, and we are specially 
told that one of the latter distinguished himself so much as to merit the 
rank of a captain 2 . But he wrote that he was "in want of everything," 
and his motley garrison of Germans, Italians, Slavs, and Greeks was at 
no time more than 8000 men. Even women and priests aided in the 
defence, and one Greek monk, with a huge iron crucifix in his hands, was 
a conspicuous figure as he charged the besiegers, invoking the vengeance 
of God upon their heads. 

The Turkish commander's first object was to occupy the two 
eminences of Mounts Abraham and San Salvatore, which commanded 
the town, but had been carelessly left without permanent fortifications. 
A first assault upon these positions was repulsed, but a second was 
successful, and the Turks now called on Schulenburg to surrender. The 
arrival of some reinforcements revived the spirits of the besieged, who 
had now withdrawn from the town into the citadel, while the Turkish 
artillery played upon the houses and aimed at the campanile of St 
Spiridion's church. The New Fortress was the point at which the enemy 
now directed all their efforts; one of the bastions was actually taken, 
and a poet has recorded that Muktar, grandfather of the famous Ali 
Pasha of Joannina, fought his way into the castle and hung up his sword 
on the gate 3 ; but Schulenburg, at the head of his men, drove out the 
Turks with enormous loss. He said himself that that day was the most 
dangerous of his life; but his reckless daring saved Corfu. It was 
expected that the Turks would renew the assault three days later; but 
when the fatal morning broke, lo! they were gone. On the evening 

1 Jervis, History of the Island of Corf it, p. 132. 

2 A recent Greek writer in the '087776$ ttJs vf\<rov Kepiajpas states, I know not on 
what authority, that, as a reward for their bravery, Schulenburg called Mt 
Abraham at Corfu after the patriarch. The name occurs in Marmora long before 
Schulenburg's time. 

8 Leake, Travels in Northern Greece, 1. 464. 



THE IONIAN ISLANDS UNDER VENETIAN RULE 225 

before, one of those terrific showers of rain to which Corfu is liable about 
the end of August descended upon the Turkish camp. The storm swept 
away their baggage into the sea, and the panic-stricken Turks — so the 
story ran — saw a number of acolytes carrying lighted candles, and an 
aged bishop, who was identified with St Spiridion, pursuing the infidels 
staff in hand. The murmurs of the janissaries and the news of a great 
Turkish defeat on the Danube may have had more to do with the 
seraskier's hasty departure than the miraculous intervention of the 
saint. But the Venetians, with true statesmanship, humoured the 
popular belief that St Spiridion had protected the Corfiotes and them- 
selves in their hour of need. We can still see hanging in the church of 
St Spiridion the silver lamp which the senate dedicated to the saint 
"for having saved Corfu," and a companion to which was provided by 
the Corfiote nobles in memory of the safe arrival of the two divisions of 
the fleet. The islanders still celebrate on August n (o.s.), the anniversary 
of the Turkish rout in 1716, the solemn procession of the saint, which 
Pisani, the Venetian admiral, instituted in his honour 1 . 

The siege had lasted for forty-eight days, and the losses on both sides 
had been very great. The lowest estimate of the Turkish dead and 
wounded was 8000. Schulenburg put down his own casualties at 1500. 
Moreover the Turks had left their artillery behind them, and in their 
own hurried re-embarkation some 900 were drowned. The Venetian fleet, 
under Pisani, whose indolence was in striking contrast to the energy of 
Schulenburg, did not succeed in overtaking the foe; but Schulenburg 
retook Butrinto, to which he attached much importance, and personally 
superintended the re-fortification of Santa Maura, which another Latin 
inscription still commemorates. The extraordinary honours paid to him 
were the measure of Corfu's value to the Republic. In his favour, as 
in that of Morosini, an exception was made to the rule forbidding the 
erection of a statue to a living person. Before the Old Fortress, which he 
so gallantly defended, there still stands his image. Medals were struck 
in his honour, and foreign sovereigns wrote to congratulate him. Nor did 
his services to the Ionians end here. The fear of a fresh attack brought 
him to Corfu again in the following year. From thence he made a 
successful attack upon Vonitza and Prevesa, and those places, together 
with Butrinto, Cerigo, and the islet of Cerigotto, or Antikythera, were 
finally confirmed to the Republic at the peace of Passarovitz. After the 
peace he drew up a systematic plan for the defence of the islands, which 

1 Leben und Denkwurdigkeiten Johann Mathias Reichsgrafen von der Schulen- 
burg, 11; Zinkeisen, op. cit. v. 520-31; Dam, Histoire de Venise, v. 145-53; Greek 
chronicle of Epeiros printed by Pouqueville, Voyage de la Grice, v. 294-9; Idro- 
menos, Swotttiki] 'luropia, pp. 81-6. 

M. I 5 



226 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

considerations of expense prevented the Republic from carrying out as 
fully as he wished. One restoration was imperative — that of the citadel 
of Corfu, which was blown up by a flash of lightning striking the powder 
magazine only two years after the great siege. Pisani and 1500 men lost 
their lives in this accident ; several vessels were sunk and much damage 
done. Under Schulenburg's directions these works were repaired. At the 
same time, warned by the experience of the late siege, he strongly 
fortified Mounts Abraham and San Salvatore and connected them with 
subterranean passages 1 . To pay for these improvements a tax of one- 
tenth was imposed upon the wine and oil of the island 2 . Large sums 
were also spent in the next few years upon the defences of Zante, Santa 
Maura, and the four continental dependencies of the islands. But the 
Republic, having lost much of her Levant trade, could no longer keep 
them up, and Corfu was again damaged by a second explosion in 1789. 
About the middle of the eighteenth century there was a huge deficit in 
the Ionian accounts, and the islands became a burden to the declining 
strength of the Venetian commonwealth. On Corfu in particular she 
spent twice what she got out of it. 

The peace of Passarovitz in 1718, which made the useless island of 
Cerigo the furthest eastern possession of Venice, practically closed the 
career of the Republic as an oriental power, and thenceforth of all her 
vast Levantine possessions the seven islands and their four dependencies 
alone remained under her flag. The decadence of Turkey preserved them 
to the Republic rather than any strength of her own, so that for the next 
seventy-nine years they were unmolested. Yet this immunity from 
attack by her old enemy caused Venice to neglect the welfare of the 
Ionian islands, which were always best governed at the moment when 
she feared to lose them. The class of officials sent from the capital during 
this last period was very inferior. Poor and badly paid, they sought to 
make money out of the islanders, and at times defrauded the home 
government without fear of detection. M. Saint-Sauveur, who resided 
as French consul in the Ionian islands from 1782 to 1799, has given a 
grim account of their social and political condition in the last years of 
Venetian rule ; and, after due deduction for his obvious bias against the 
fallen Republic, there remains a large substratum of truth in his state- 
ments. At Zante the cupidity of the Venetian governors reached its 
height. Nowhere was so little of the local revenue spent in the locality, 
nowhere were the taxes more oppressive or more numerous; nowhere 

1 Two plans, one of the siege, one of the works executed by Schulenburg, are 
in the British Museum, and are reproduced by Jervis, pp. 139, 145. 

2 Daru, v. 159, 171. 






THE IONIAN ISLANDS UNDER VENETIAN RULE 227 

were the illicit gains of the Venetian officials larger. They were wont to 
lend money at usurious interest to the peasants, who frequently rose 
against their foreign and native oppressors — for the nobles and burgesses 
of that rich island were regarded by the tillers of the soil with intense 
hatred. Murders were of daily occurrence at Zante; most well-to-do 
natives had bravi in their pay ; there was a graduated tariff for permission 
to wear weapons; and Saint-Sauveur was once an eye-witness of an 
unholy compact between a high Venetian official and a Zantiote who 
was desirous to secure in advance impunity for his intended crime 1 . 
It is narrated how the wife of a Venetian governor of Zante used to 
shout with joy "Oil, oil! " as soon as she heard a shot fired, in allusion 
to the oil warrants, the equivalent of cash, which her husband received 
for acquitting a murderer. Justice at this period was more than usually 
halting. The French consul could only remember three or four sentences 
of death during the whole of his residence in the islands, and when, a 
little earlier, the crew of a foreign ship was murdered in the channel of 
Corfu by some islanders under the leadership of a noble, only one 
scapegoat, and he a peasant, was punished. Pirates were not uncommon, 
Paxo being one of their favourite haunts. Yet after the peace of 
Passarovitz Corfu was the centre of the Republic's naval forces, and it 
was in the last years of Venetian rule that many of the present buildings 
were built at Govino, and a road was at last constructed from that point 
to the town 2 . 

During the Russo-Turkish war between 1768 and 1774 many 
Ionians took part in the insurrectionary movement against the Turks 
on the mainland, in spite of the proclamations of the Venetian govern- 
ment, which was anxious, like the British protectorate fifty years later, 
to prevent its subjects from a breach of neutrality 3 ; but it could not 
even control its own officials, for a provveditore generate sold the ordnance 
and provisions stored at Corfu under his charge to the Russians. The 
sympathy of the Ionians for Orthodox Russia was natural, especially 
as many Greeks from the Turkish provinces had settled in the islands 
without having forgotten their homes on the mainland. They took part 
in the sieges of Patras and Koron, while after the base desertion of the 
Greeks by the Russians the islands became the refuge of many defeated 
insurgents. These refugees were, however, delivered up by the Venetians 
to the Turks, and nothing but a vigorous Russian protest saved from 
punishment two Ionian nobles who had taken up arms on her side. 

1 Saint-Sauveur, 11. 99, in. 251-3; Andreades, 1. 278. 

s Saint-Sauveur, 11. 148. I copied down the dates 1759 and 1778 from two of 
the ruins there. 

3 Paparregopoulos, v. 686; Daru, v. 198-9; Jervis, p. 153. 

15—2 



228 i FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

Russia followed up her protest by appointing Greeks or Albanians as 
her consuls in the three principal islands 1 ; many Cephalonians emigrated 
to the new Russian province of the Crimea, and Cephalonian merchant- 
men began to fly her flag. During the next Russo-Turkish war — that 
between 1787 and 1792 — the Ionians fitted out corsairs to aid their 
friends, and a Russian general was sent to Ithake to direct the opera- 
tions of the Greeks. Two of the latter, Lampros Katsones of Livadia 
and the Lokrian Androutsos, father of the better known klepht Odysseus, 
were specially conspicuous. Lampros styled himself "king of Sparta," 
and christened his son Lycurgus. He established himself on the coast 
of Maina and plundered the ships of all nations — a patriot according to 
some, a pirate according to others. When a French frigate had put an 
end to his reign of terror he, like Androutsos, fled to the Ionian islands. 
The Venetians caused a hue and cry to be raised for his followers, who 
were saved from the gallows by their Russian patrons; but Androutsos 
was handed over to the Turks, who left him to languish in prison at 
Constantinople. Katsones became the hero of a popular poem. 

The attacks of pirates from Barbary and Dulcigno upon Prevesa 
and Cerigo roused the Venetians to the necessity of punishing those 
marauders, and accordingly Angelo Emo was appointed "extra- 
ordinary captain of the ships" and sent to Corfu. After a vigorous 
attempt at reforming the naval establishment there, which had fallen 
into a very corrupt state, he chastised the Algerines and Tunisians, to 
the great relief of the Ionians. The Zantiotes " presented him with a gold 
sword, and struck a medal in his honour"; in Corfu a mural tablet still 
recalls his services against the Barbary corsairs, and his name ranks 
with those of Morosini and Schulenburg in the history of the islands 2 . 

The long peace of the eighteenth century had marked results upon 
the social life of the Ionians. It had the bad effect, especially at Corfu, 
of increasing the desire for luxuries, which the natives could ill afford, 
but which they obtained at the sacrifice of more solid comfort. Anxious 
to show their European culture, the better classes relinquished the garb 
of their ancestors, and the women, who now for the first time emerged 
from the oriental seclusion in which they had been kept for centuries 
in most of the islands, deprived themselves of necessaries and neglected 
their houses in order to make a smart appearance on the esplanade — a 
practice not yet extinct at Corfu. Yet this partial emancipation of the 
Ionian ladies, due to the European habits introduced by the increasing 

1 Paparregopoulos, v. 701 ; Saint- Sauveur, 11. 288. 

* Saint- Sauveur, 11. 150-3; Hazlitt, The Venetian Republic, n. 311; Romanin, 
Storia documentata di Venezia, viii. 289-99; Legrand, Bibliotheque grecque 
vulgaire, in. 332-6. 



THE IONIAN ISLANDS UNDER VENETIAN RULE 229 

number of Venetian officers who had married Corfiote wives, was a 
distinct benefit to society. Gradually ladies went to the theatre ; at first 
they were screened by a grille from the public gaze, then a mask was 
considered sufficient protection; finally that too was dropped 1 . The 
population of the islands and their dependencies in 1795 was put down 
at 152,722. But Corfu was already in the deplorable state of poverty 
into which it once more relapsed after the withdrawal of the British. 
In spite of its splendid climate and its fertile soil the fruitful island of 
the Phaiakians at the end of the Venetian rule could not nourish its much 
smaller number of inhabitants for more than four or five months in the 
year. The fault did not he with the soil; but few of the proprietors had 
the capital to make improvements, and few of the peasants had the 
energy or the necessary incentives to labour. The lack of beasts of burden 
and of carriageable roads was a great drawback. One governor did at 
last, in 1794, construct five roads from the town into the country, by 
means of voluntary subscriptions and a tax on every loaded horse 
entering the streets 2 . But it was not till the British time that either this 
or the scarcely less evil of want of water was remedied. The successors 
of the seafaring subjects of Alkinoos had scarcely any mercantile marine, 
while the Cephalonians, sons of a less beautiful island, voyaged all over 
the Levant in search of a livelihood. An attempt to naturalise sugar, 
indigo, and coffee in a hollow of the Black Mountain was a failure 3 . Zante, 
less luxurious and naturally richer than either of her two other greater 
sisters, suffered during the Anglo-French war from the absence of 
English commerce; and repeated earthquakes, the predecessors of that 
of 1893, caused much damage there 4 . As might have been expected the 
Venetian system had not improved the character of the islanders, whose 
faults were admitted by their severest critics to be due to the moral 
defects of the government. If the Corfiotes of that day seemed to Saint- 
Sauveur to be ignorant and superstitious, poor and indolent, they were 
what Venice had made them. Yet, in spite of all her errors, the Republic 
had given to the seven islands a degree of civilisation which was lacking 
in Turkish Greece, and which, improved by our own protectorate, still 
characterises the Ionians to-day. Corfu and Zante are still, after over 
fifty years of union with the Hellenic kingdom, in many respects more 
Italian than Greek. Even to-day the seal of Venice is upon them; not 
merely does the Hon of St Mark still stand out from their fortifications, 
but in the laws and the customs, in the survival of the Italian language 
and of Italian titles of nobility here almost alone in Greece, we can trace 

1 Saint-Sauveur, 11. 199-206. * Romanin, ix. 134-8. 

8 Daru, v. 221; Saint-Sauveur, in. 38-49. « Daru, v. 30. 



230 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

his long domination. But no Corfiote or Zantiote, for all that, desires to 
become Italian. 

The French Revolution had little immediate influence upon the 
Ionian islands, though there were some disturbances at Zante, and the 
citizens of Corfu petitioned Venice against the exclusive privileges of the 
nobles. Three years before the outbreak in Paris, the most serene 
Republic had sent a special commissioner to reform the constitution of 
the islands; but those reforms mainly consisted in reducing the numbers 
of the councils at Corfu and Santa Maura. Much greater hopes were 
formed in 1794 on the arrival of Widman, the last provveditore generate 
whom Venice sent to Corfu. Widman had had a distinguished naval 
career; his benevolence was well known by report, and the Corfiotes, 
who had been plundered by his rapacious predecessor, gave him a 
reception such as had never fallen to the lot of any of their previous 
Venetian governors 1 . It was fortunate for him that he was so popular, 
for, after selling his own silver to meet the pressing needs of the 
administration, he had to appeal to the generosity of the Ionians for 
funds to carry on the government. He did not appeal in vain; the 
inhabitants of the three chief islands subscribed money; the four 
continental dependencies, having no money, offered men, who could not, 
however, be accepted, as there were no uniforms available; the Jews 
gave him over £400 and armed a certain number of soldiers at their 
expense; he was even reduced, as he could get nothing but promises from 
home, to use up the savings-bank deposits in the public service. In the 
apology which he published two years after the loss of the islands he 
gave a black picture of the state of the fortifications, wffich contained 
scarcely enough powder for a single man-of-war. Under the circum- 
stances his sole consolation was the perusal of St Augustin. Such was 
the condition of the Ionian defences when the French troops entered 
Venice in 1797 2 . 

Venice was preparing to send commissioners with powers to establish 
a democratic form of government at Corfu, when Bonaparte, fearing lest 
Russia should occupy the islands, ordered General Gentili to go thither 
at once, bidding him introduce some telling classical allusions in his 
proclamation to the islanders. In the guise of an ally of Venice, with 
Venetian forces mixed among his own, and flying the lion banner of 
St Mark at his mast-head, Gentili sailed into Corfu on July 11. He 
informed Widman that he had come to protect the islands, and asked 
that room might be found within the fortress for their new protectors; 

1 Saint-Sauveur (an eye-witness), 11. 63 et sqq. 

1 Romanin, x. 240-5; Rodocanachi, Bonaparte et les lies Ioniennes, pp. 24, 26. 



THE IONIAN ISLANDS UNDER VENETIAN RULE 231 

he told the people in a trilingual proclamation that the French Republic, 
in alliance with the Venetians, would free this fragment of ancient Hellas, 
and revive the glories and the virtues of classic times. Catching the 
classical spirit of the general's proclamation, the head of the Orthodox 
church met him as he landed and presented him with a copy of the 
Odyssey. The islanders received the French as saviours. Gentili occupied 
the citadel, and Bonaparte wrote from Milan that they hoped "to 
regain, under the protection of the great French nation, the sciences, 
arts, and commerce which they had lost through oligarchical tyranny." 



9. MONEMVASIA 

MONEMVASIA DURING THE FRANKISH PERIOD 
(1204- 1 540) 

There are few places in Greece which possess the combined charms 
of natural beauty and of historic association to the same extent as 
Monemvasia. The great rock which rises out of the sea near the ancient 
Epidauros Limera is not only one of the most picturesque sites of the 
Peloponnese, but has a splendid record of heroic independence, which 
entitles it to a high place in the list of the world's fortresses (Plate II, 
Figs. 1, 2). Monemvasia's importance is, however, wholly mediaeval; 
and its history has hitherto never been written; for the painstaking 
brochure of the patriotic Monemvasiote ex-deputy and ex-Minister 
K. Papamichalopoulos 1 , was composed before modern research rendered 
it possible to draw upon the original authorities at Venice and elsewhere. 
In the present chapter I have endeavoured to state briefly what, in the 
present state of Greek mediaeval studies, is known about this interesting 
city during the Frankish period. 

At the time of the Frankish Conquest of the rest of Greece, Monem- 
vasia was already a place of considerable importance. Even if we reject 
the statement of the fifteenth century historian, Phrantzes 2 , himself a 
native of the place, that the Emperor Maurice had raised it to the rank 
of the 34th Metropolitan see — a statement contradicted by an ecclesi- 
astical document of 1397 — we know at least that it was even then the 
seat of a Greek bishopric, whose holder remained a suffragan of Corinth 3 
till the Latins captured the latter city in 1210. The Comneni had con- 
firmed the liberties of a community so favourably situated, and the local 

1 HoKiopicla. Kal a\w<ris ttjs Moj/e/ij3a<r£as virb tGiv "EWtytav rip 1821. ' Adfyrjfft, 1874. 

2 P- 398. 

3 Miklosich und Miiller, Acta ei Diplomata Grceca Medii Mvi, 11. 287; Dorotheos 
of Monemvasia, Bipxiov '\oropiic6v (ed. 1814), 397. 



232 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

aristocracy of Monemvasia enjoyed the privilege of self-government. 
Thanks to the public spirit of its inhabitants, the wisdom of the local 
magnates, and the strength of its natural defences, which made it in the 
Middle Ages the Gibraltar of Greece, it had repelled the attack of the 
Normans from Sicily in the middle of the twelfth century. Fifty years 
later it was a busy sea-port town, whose ships were seen at the Piraeus 
by Michael Akominatos, the last Metropolitan of Athens before the 
Conquest, and whose great artistic treasure, the famous picture of Our 
Lord being "dragged," which has given its name to the 'RX/co/Mevos 
church, attracted the covetousness of the Emperor Isaac IP. 

As might have been expected from its position and history, Monem- 
vasia was the last spot in the Peloponnese to acknowledge the Frankish 
supremacy. Geoffroy I Villehardouin had contented himself perforce 
with sending a body of troops to raid the country as far as the causeway, 
or fiovq e/x/3ao-i<;, which leads to the great rock-fortress and from 
which its name is derived 2 ; and his son Geoffroy II seems to have 
meditated the conquest of the place 3 ; but it was reserved for the third 
of the Villehardouins, soldierly Prince William, to hoist the croix ancree 
of his family over the "sacred rock" of Hellenism, which was in un- 
interrupted communication by sea with the successor of Byzantium, the 
Greek Emperor of Nice 4 , and was therefore a constant source of annoy- 
ance to the Franks of the Peloponnese. The Prince, after elaborate 
preparations, began the siege not long after his accession in 1246. He 
summoned to his aid the great vassals of the Principality — Guy I of 
Athens, who owed him allegiance for Nauplia and Argos ; the three barons 
of Eubcea; Angelo Sanudo, Duke of Naxos,with the other lords of the 
Cyclades, and the veteran Count Palatine of Cephalonia, Matteo Orsini, 
ruler of the island-realm of Odysseus 5 . But the Prince of Achaia saw 
that without the naval assistance of Venice, which had taken care that 
his principality should not become a sea-power, he could never capture 
the place. He accordingly obtained the aid of four Venetian galleys, and 
then proceeded to invest the great rock-fortress by land and water. For 
three long years the garrison held out, " like a nightingale in its cage," as 
the Chronicler quaintly says — and the simile is most appropriate, for 
the place abounds with those songsters — till all supplies were exhausted, 
and they had eaten the very cats and mice. Even then, however, they 
only surrendered on condition that they should be excused from all 

1 Lampros, Mix<*?A 'AKo/uvarov, II. 137; Niketas, 97, 581-92. 

2 To Xpoj't/cd*' tov Moptws, 1. 2065. 

3 Ibid. 11. 2630, 2644. * Ibid. 11. 2765-9. 

8 Ibid. 11. 2891-6; Romance, Tpanavbs Zwpfrs, 136. The French version of the 
Chronicle omits the Naxian and Cephalonian contingents. 



MONEMVASIA 233 

feudal services, except at sea, and should even in that case be paid. True 
to the conciliatory policy of his family, William wisely granted their 
terms, and then the three archontes of Monemvasia, Mamonas, Daimono- 
yannes, and Sophianos, advanced along the narrow causeway to his camp 
and offered him the keys of their town. The conqueror received them with 
the respect of one brave man for another, loaded them with costly gifts, 
and gave them fiefs at Vatika near Cape Malea. A Frankish garrison 
was installed in the coveted fortress ; and a Latin bishop, Oddo of Verdun, 
at last occupied the episcopal palace there, which had been his (on paper) 
ever since Innocent IIP had organised the Latin see of Monemvasia as 
one of the suffragans of Corinth. 

The Frankish occupation lasted, however, barely fourteen years, and 
has left no marks on the picturesque town. Buchon, indeed, who spied 
the Villehardouin arms on the Gorgoepekoos church at Athens, thought 
that he had discovered the famous croix ancree on one of the churches 2 . 
He apparently meant the 'EX/co^evo? church, which the late SirT. Wyse 
called and Murray's Handbook still calls St Peter's — a name not now 
known in Monemvasia, but derived perhaps from an inscription to a 
certain Dominus Petrus, whose remains "lie in peace" hard by. One 
church in the town, "Our Lady of the Myrtle," bears, it is true, a cross 
with anchored work below, and four stars above the door. But this 
church, as I was informed and as the name implies, was founded by 
people from Cerigo, whose patron saint is the Uavayia MvpriBcaiTia-cra 
(Plate III, Fig. 1). The capture of the town by the Franks is, however, still 
remembered at Monemvasia, and local tradition points out the place on 
the mainland where Villehardouin left his cavalry. One pathetic event 
occurred at the rock during the brief Frankish period — the visit of the 
last Latin Emperor of Constantinople, Baldwin II, in 1261, on his way 
from his lost capital to Italy 3 . In the following year Monemvasia was 
one of the castles ceded to his successor, the Emperor Michael VIII 
Palaiologos, as the ransom of Prince William of Achaia, captured by the 
Greeks three years earlier after the fatal battle of Pelagonia. 

The mediaeval importance of Monemvasia really dates from this 
retrocession to the Byzantine Emperor in 1262, when a Byzantine 
province was established in the south-east of the Morea. It not only 
became the seat of an Imperial governor, or /cefaXij, but it was the 
landing-place where the Imperial troops were disembarked for opera- 
tions against the Franks, the port where the Tzakones and the Gasmouloi, 

1 EpistolcB, vol. n. p. 622; Les Registres d' Innocent IV, vol. ill. 306, 397. 

2 La Grice Continentale, p. 412; Sir T. Wyse, Excursion into the Peloponnesus, 
1. 6. Cf. Tozer in J.H.S. iv. 233-6. 

* Td Xponicdv rod Mop^ws, 1. 1 306; Le Livre de la Conqueste, p. 27. 



234 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

or half-castes, of the Peloponnese enlisted for service in the Greek navy. 
During the war which began in 1263 between Michael VIII and his late 
captive, we accordingly frequently find it mentioned; it was thither that 
the Genoese transports in the Imperial service conveyed the Greek troops; 
it was thither, too, that the news of the first breach of the peace was 
carried post-haste, and thence communicated to Constantinople ; it was 
there that the Imperial generals took up their headquarters at the outset 
of the campaign; and it was upon the Monemvasiotes that the comba- 
tants, when they were reconciled, agreed to lay the blame for the war 1 . 
Under the shadow of the Greek flag, Monemvasia became, too, one of 
the most dangerous lairs of corsairs in the Levant. The great local 
families did not disdain to enter the profession, and we read of both the 
Daimonoyannai and the Mamonades in the report of the Venetian 
judges, who drew up a long statement in 1278 of the depredations 
caused by pirates to Venetian commerce in the Levant. On one occasion 
the citizens looked calmly on while a flagrant act of piracy was being 
committed in their harbour, which, as the port of shipment for Malmsey 
wine, attracted corsairs who were also connoisseurs 2 . Moreover, the 
Greek occupation of so important a position was fatal to the Venetian 
lords of the neighbouring islands, no less than to Venetian trade in the 
JEgean. The chief sufferers were the two Marquesses of Cerigo and 
Cerigotto, members of the great families of Venier and Viaro, who had 
occupied those islands after the Fourth Crusade. It would appear from 
a confused passage of the Italian Memoir on Cerigo, that the islanders, 
impatient at the treatment which they received from their Latin lord, 
the descendant, as he boasted, of the island-goddess Venus herself, sent 
a deputation to invoke the aid of the Greek governor of the new 
Byzantine province in the Morea 3 . At any rate, the famous cruise of 
Licario, the upstart Italian of Negroponte who went over to the Greeks, 
temporarily ended the rule of the Venetian Marquesses. A governor was 
sent to Cerigo from Monemvasia; but ere long Michael VIII conferred 
that island upon the eminent Monemvasiote archon, Paul Monoyannes, 
who is described in a Venetian document as being in 1275 " the vassal 
of the Emperor and captain of Cerigo." Monoyannes fortified the island, 
where his tomb was discovered during the British protectorate, and it 
remained in the possession of his family till 1309, when intermarriage 



1 Les Registres d'Urbain IV, n. 100, 341; T6 Xpovinov rod Mo/><fws, 11. 4534, 
4547, 458o, 4584, 4643, 5026, 5569, 5576. 

Pontes Rerutn Austriacarum, Abt. 11. B. xiv. 164, 192-3, 204, 215, 220, 226, 
248. 

3 Antique Memorie di Cerigo, apud Sathas, Mvriixela. ' EWrjvtKrjs ' laropias, vi. 301. 



PLATE II 




Fig. I. MOXEMVASIA FROM THE LAND. 




Fig. 2. MONEMVASIA. ENTRANCE TO KASTRO 



PLATE III 




Fig. I. Moxemvasia. llavayia 'SlvpTidiuTiaaa. 




Fig. 2. MONEMVASIA 'Ayia 2.0<pia. 



MONEMVASIA 235 

between the children of its Greek and Latin lords restored Cerigo to the 
Venieri 1 . 

The Byzantine Emperors naturally rewarded a community so useful 
to them as that of Monemvasia. Michael VIII granted its citizens 
valuable fiscal exemptions; his pious son and successor, Andronikos II 
not only confirmed their privileges and possessions, but founded the 
church of the Divine Wisdom which still stands in the castle. The 
adjoining cloister has fallen in ruins; the Turks after 1540 converted the 
church, like the more famous Santa Sophia of Constantinople, into a 
mosque, the mihrab of which may still be traced, and smashed all the 
heads of the saints which once adorned the church — an edifice reckoned 
as ancient even in the days of the Venetian occupation, when a Monem- 
vasiote family had the jus fiatronatus over it (Plate III, Fig. 2). But afine 
Byzantine plaque over the door — two peacocks and two lambs — still 
preserves the memory of the Byzantine connexion. Of Andronikos II 
we have, too, another Moncmvasiote memorial — the Golden Bull of 
1293, by which he gave to the Metropolitan the title of " Exarch of all 
the Peloponnese," with jurisdiction over eight bishoprics, some, it is 
true, still in partibus infidelium, as well as the titular Metropolitan throne 
of Side, and confirmed all the rights and property of his diocese, which 
was raised to be the tenth of the Empire and extended, at any rate on 
paper, right across the peninsula to " Pylos, which is called Avarinos " — 
a convincing proof of the error made by Hopf in supposing that the name 
of Navarino arose from the Navarrese company a century later. The 
Emperor lauds in this interesting document, which bears his portrait 
and is still preserved in the National Library and (in a copy) in the 
Christian Archaeological Museum at Athens, the convenience and safe 
situation of the town, the number of its inhabitants, their affluence and 
their technical skill, their seafaring qualities, and their devotion to his 
throne and person. His grandson and namesake, Andronikos III, in 
1332 granted them freedom from market-dues at the Peloponnesian 
fairs 2 . But a city so prosperous was sure to attract the covetous glances 
of enemies. Accordingly, in 1292, Roger de Lluria, the famous admiral 
of King James of Aragon, on the excuse that the Emperor had failed to 
pay the subsidy promised by his father to the late King Peter, descended 
upon Monemvasia, and sacked the lower town without a blow. The 
archontes and the people took refuge in the impregnable citadel, leaving 

1 Sanudo, Istoria del Regno, apud Hopf, Chroniques grico-romanes, 127; Fontes 
Rerunt Austriacarum, Abt. n. B. xiv. 181; Sansovino, Cronologia del Mondo, fol. 
185; Hopf apud Ersch und Gruber, lxxxv. 310. 

* Miklosich und Miiller, op. cit. v. 155-61; Phrantzes, 399, 400; Dorotheos of 
Monemvasia, BifiXLov 'laropiKov, 400. 



236 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

their property and their Metropolitan in the power of the enemy 1 . Ten 
years later, another Roger, Roger de Flor, the leader of the Catalan 
Grand Company, put into Monemvasia on his way to the East on that 
memorable expedition which was destined to ruin "the pleasaunce of 
the Latins " in the Levant. On this occasion the Catalans were naturally 
on their good behaviour. Monemvasia belonged to their new employer, 
the Emperor Andronikos ; it had been stipulated that they should receive 
the first instalment of their pay there ; and Muntaner 2 tells us that the 
Imperial authorities gave them a courteous reception and provided 
them with refreshments, including probably a few barrels of the famous 
Malmsey. 

Monemvasia fortunately escaped the results of the Catalan expedi- 
tion, which proved so fatal to the Duchy of Athens and profoundly 
affected the North and West of the Morea. Indeed, in the early part of 
the fourteenth century the corsairs of the great rock seemed to have 
actually seized the classic island of Salamis under the eyes of the Catalan 
rulers of Athens, whose naval forces in the Saronic Gulf had been 
purposely crippled by the jealous Venetian Government. At any rate 
we find Salamis, which had previously belonged to Bonifacio da Verona, 
the baron of Karystos in Eubcea, and had passed with the hand of his 
daughter and heiress to Alfonso Fadrique, the head of the terrible 
Catalan Company in Attica, now paying tribute to the Byzantine 
governor of Monemvasia 3 . When, however, towards the end of the 
fourteenth century, the Greeks began to recover most of the Peloponnese, 
the city which had been so valuable to them in the earlier days of the 
reconquest of the Morea had to compete with formidable rivals. In 
1397, when Theodore I Palaiologos obtained, after a desperate struggle, 
the great fortress of Corinth, which had been his wife's dowry from her 
father, Nerio Acciajuoli, his first act was to restore the Metropolitan see 
of that ancient city, and the first demand of the restored Metropolitan 
was for the restitution to him by his brother of Monemvasia of the two 
suffragan bishoprics of Zemenos and Maina, which had been given to the 
latter's predecessor after the Latin conquest of Corinth 4 . This demand 
was granted, and we are not surprised to hear that the Monemvasiotes 
were disaffected to the Despot, under whom such a slight had been cast 
upon their Church. The Moreote archontes at this period were intensely 

1 Le Litre de la Conqueste, 363; Libro de los Fechos, 107; Muntaner, Cronaca, 
ch. 117; Bartholomaeus de Neocastro and Nicolaus Specialis apud Muratori, Rer. 
Ital. Script, xni. 1185; x. 959. 

2 Chs. 199, 201. 

8 Thomas, Diplomatarium Veneto-Levantinum, I. 127. 
4 Miklosich und Muller, I.e. 



MONEMVASIA 237 

independent of the Despot of Mistra, even though the latter was the 
brother of the Emperor. The most unruly of them all was Paul Mamonas 
of Monemvasia, who belonged to the great local family which had been 
to the fore in the days of Villehardouin. This man held the office of 
"Grand-Duke" or Lord High Admiral in the Byzantine hierarchy of 
officials and claimed the hereditary right to rule as an independent 
princelet over his native city, of which his father had been Imperial 
governor. When Theodore asserted his authority, and expelled the 
haughty archon, the latter did not hesitate to arraign him before the 
supreme authority of those degenerate days — the Sultan Bayezid I who 
ordered his immediate restoration by Turkish troops — a humiliation 
alike for the Greek Despot and for the sacred city of Hellenism 1 . 
Theodore had, indeed, at one time thought of bestowing so unruly a 
community upon a Venetian of tried merit ; and, in 1419, after the death 
of Paul's son, the Republic was supposed by Hopf to have come into 
possession of the coveted rock and its surroundings — then a valuable 
commercial asset because of the Malmsey which was still produced 
there 2 . But the three documents, upon which he relies for this state- 
ment, merely show that Venetian merchants were engaged in the wine- 
trade at Monemvasia. 

It was at this period that Monemvasia produced two men of letters, 
George Phrantzes and the Monk Isidore. To the latter we owe a series 
of letters, one of which, addressed to the Emperor Manuel II on the 
occasion of his famous visit to the Morea in 1415, describes his pacifica- 
tion of Maina and his abolition of the barbarous custom of cutting off the 
fingers and toes of the slain, which the Mainates had inherited from the 
Greeks of iEschylus and Sophocles. He also alludes to the Greek 
inscriptions which he saw at Vitylo 3 . Of Phrantzes, the historian of the 
Turkish conquest, the secretary and confidant of the Palaiologoi, the 
clever if somewhat unscrupulous diplomatist, who, after a busy life, lies 
buried in the quiet church of Sts Jason and Sosipater at Corfu, it is 
needless to speak. In the opinion of the writer, Phrantzes should hold 
a high place in Byzantine history. His style is clear and simple, com- 
pared with that of his contemporary Chalkokondyles, the ornate 
Herodotus of the new Persian Conquest; he knew men and things; he 
was no mere theologian or rhetorician, but a man of affairs ; and he wrote 
with a naivete, which is as amusing as it is surprising in one of his 
profession. Monemvasia may be proud of having produced such a man, 

1 Phrantzes, 57 ; Manuel Palaiologos, Theodori Despoti Laudatio Funebris, apud 
Migne, Patrologia Gvceca, clvi. 228-9; Chalkokondyles, 80. 

2 Hopf, op. cit. lxxxvi. 79: see Appendix. 
8 Mos'EWnivoftvTJuuv, I. 269; 11. 181 






238 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

who has placed in his history a glowing account of his birthplace. We 
hear too in 1540 of a certain George, called "Count of Corinth" but a 
native of Monemvasia, who had a fine library, and among the many 
Peloponnesian calligraphists, the so-called "Murmures," found later on 
in Italy, there were some Monemvasiotes 1 . 

We next find Monemvasia in the possession of the Despot Theodore 
II Palaiologos 2 , who ratified its ancient privileges. All the Despot's 
subjects, whether freemen or serfs, were permitted to enter or leave this 
important city without let or hindrance, except only the dangerous 
denizens of Tzakonia and Vatika, whose character had not altered in the 
two hundred years which had elapsed since the time of Villehardouin. 
The citizens, their beasts, and their ships were exempt from forced 
labour; and, at their special request, the Despot confirmed the local 
custom, by which all the property of a Monemvasiote who died without 
relatives was devoted to the repair of the castle; while, if he had only 
distant relatives, one-third of his estate was reserved for that purpose 
(Plate V, Fig. 1). This system of death duties (to mfluvr&uov, as it was 
called) was continued by Theodore's brother and successor, Demetrios, 
by whom Monemvasia was described as "one of the most useful cities 
under my rule 3 ." Such, indeed, he found it to be, when, in 1458, 
Mohammed II made his first punitive expedition into the Morea. On 
the approach of the great Sultan, the Despot fled to the rock of Monem- 
vasia. It was the ardent desire of the Conqueror to capture that famous 
fortress, " the strongest of all cities that we know," as the contemporary 
Athenian historian, Chalkokondyles 4 , called it. But his advisers repre- 
sented to him the difficult nature of the country which he would have 
to traverse, so he prudently desisted from the enterprise. Two years 
later, when Mohammed II visited the Morea a second time and finally 
destroyed Greek rule in that peninsula, Monemvasia again held out 
successfully. After sheltering Demetrios against an attack from his 
treacherous brother Thomas, the town gave refuge to the wife and 
daughter of the former. Demetrios had, however, promised to give his 
daughter in marriage to the great Sultan; and Isa, son of the Pasha of 
Uskiib, and Matthew Asan, the Despot's brother-in-law, were accordingly 
sent to demand the surrender of the city and of the two princesses, whom 
it contained. The Monemvasiotes did, indeed, hand over the two Imperial 
ladies to the envoys of the Sultan and the Despot; but, relying on their 
immense natural defences, animated by the sturdy spirit of independence 

1 Montfaucon, Palaographia Graca, 81, 89; 'E\\r)vo/ju>^fji.uv, 336-46. 

2 Miklosich und Miiller, v. 171-4; Uapvaacos, vn. 472-6. 

3 Ibid. in. 258. « P. 447. 



MONEMVASIA 239 

which had so long distinguished them, and inspired by the example of 
their governor, Manuel Palaiologos, they bade them tell Mohammed not 
to lay sacrilegious hands on a city which God had meant to be invincible. 
The Sultan is reported to have admired their courage, and wisely 
refrained from attacking the impregnable fortress of mediaeval Hellenism. 
As Demetrios was the prisoner of the Sultan, the Governor proclaimed 
Thomas as his liege-lord; but the latter, a fugitive from Greece, was 
incapable of maintaining his sovereignty and tried to exchange it with 
the Sultan for another sea-side place 1 . A passing Catalan corsair, one 
Lope de Baldaja, was then invited to occupy the rock; but the liberty- 
loving inhabitants soon drove out the petty tyrant whom they had 
summoned to their aid, and, with the consent of Thomas, placed their 
city under the protection of his patron, the Pope. Pius II gladly 
appointed both spiritual and temporal governors of the fortress which 
had so long been the stronghold of Orthodoxy, and of that nationalism 
with which Orthodoxy was identical 2 . 

But the papal flag did not wave long over Monemvasia. The Orthodox 
Greeks soon grew tired of forming part of the Pope's temporal dominion, 
and preferred the rule of Venice, the strongest maritime power interested 
in the Levant, whose governors were well known to be "first Venetians 
and then Catholics." The outbreak of the Turco- Venetian War of 1463, 
and the appearance of a Venetian fleet in the ^Egean, gave the citizens 
their opportunity. The Pope, as Phrantzes informs us, had no wish to 
give up the place; but he was far away, his representative was feeble, 
the flag of Venice was for the moment triumphant in Greek waters, and 
accordingly in 1463 or 1464, the inhabitants admitted a Venetian 
garrison. On September 21, 1464, the Senate made provision for the 
government of this new dependency. A Podesta was to be elected for 
two years at an annual salary of 500 gold ducats, this salary to be paid 
every three months out of the revenues of the newly-conquered island 
of Lemnos. Six months later, it was decreed that in case there was no 
money available for the purpose at Lemnos, the Podesta should receive 
his salary from the Cretan treasury 3 . From that time to 1540 Monem- 
vasia remained a Venetian colony. Once, indeed, a plot was organised 

1 Chalkokondyles, 476, 485; Phrantzes, 396-7; Spandugino (ed. 1551), 44-5. 

8 Magno, Annali Veneti, apud Hopf, Chroniques grico-romanes, 203-4; Pit II. 
Cotnmentari, 103—4. 

3 Phrantzes, 415; Magno, 204; Sathas, vi. 95; Chalkokondyles, 556. Regina, 
fol. 52, 56 (for a copy of which I am indebted to Mr Horatio F. Brown: see 
Appendix). The actual date is uncertain; Phrantzes and Magno give 1464, and the 
Venetian document above quoted points to that year; but Malatesta's secretary 
in his account of the war (Sathas, I.e.) puts it in 1463, before the siege of 
Corinth. 



2 4 o FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

in the ancient city of the Palaiologoi for the purpose of wresting the 
place from the claws of the Lion of St Mark. Andrew Palaiologos, the 
still more degenerate son of the degenerate Thomas, had, in 1494, 
transferred all his Imperial rights and claims to King Charles VIII of 
France, then engaged in his expedition to Naples, in the Church of San 
Pietro in Montorio at Rome. In accordance with this futile arrangement 
his partisans at Monemvasia, where the Imperial name of Palaiologos 
was still popular, schemed to deliver the city to his French ally 1 . But 
the plans of Charles VIII, and with them the plot at Monemvasia, came 
to nought. Venice remained mistress of the Virgin fortress. 

Down to the peace of 1502-3, Monemvasia seems to have been fairly 
prosperous under Venetian rule. By the Turco- Venetian treaty of 1479 
she had been allowed to retain the dependency of Vatika 2 in the 
neighbourhood of Cape Malea, which had been captured from the Turks 
in 1463, and where her citizens had long possessed property. But the 
territories of Monemvasia were terribly restricted after the next Turco- 
Venetian war: she had then lost her outlying castles of Rampano and 
Vatika, from which the ecclesiastical authorities derived much of their 
dues; and we find the inhabitants petitioning the Republic for the 
redress of their grievances, and pointing out that this last delimitation 
of their frontiers had deprived them of the lands which they had been 
wont to sow. The rock itself produced nothing, and accordingly all their 
supplies of corn had now to be imported through the Turkish pos- 
sessions 3 . As for the famous vintage, which had been the delight of 
Western connoisseurs, it was no longer produced at Malvasia, for the 
Turks did not cultivate the vineyards which were now in their hands, 
and most of the so-called " Malmsey," nihil de Malfasia habens sed nomen, 
as worthy Father Faber says, had for some time come from Crete or 
Modon 4 , till the latter place, too, became Turkish. But, in spite of these 
losses, Monemvasia still remained what she had been for centuries — an 
impregnable fortress, the Gibraltar of Greece. The Venetians renewed 
the system, which had prevailed under the Despots of the Morea, of 
devoting one of the local imposts to the repair of the walls; the Venetian 
Podestd, who lived, like the military governor, up in the castle, seems to 
have been a popular official; and the Republic had wisely confirmed the 
special privileges granted by the Byzantine Emperors to the Church and 

1 Sanudo, Diarii, 1. 703. 

2 Predelli, Commemoriali, v. 228-30, 238-9, 241 ; Miklosich und Miiller, op. cit, 
in. 293-309. 

8 Sathas, Mvrifieia'EWrivLKrjs'JffToplas, iv. 230; Sanudo, Diarii, xxix. 482. 

* Feyerabend, Reyssbuch des H eyligen Lands, fol. 182; Faber, Evagatorium, 111. 
314. The name was so long preserved that a wine-shop in Venetian dialect was 
called "Malvasia." 



PLATE IV 




MONEMVASIA. KASTRO. 



PLATE V 





•2f 



MONEMVASIA 241 

community of this favoured city (Plate IV). Both a Greek Metropolitan 
and a Latin Archbishop continued to take their titles from Monemvasia, 
and the most famous of these prelates was the eminent Greek scholar, 
Markos Mousouros. It is interesting to note that in 152 1 Pope Leo X 
nad a scheme for founding an academy for the study of the Greek 
language out of the revenues of whichever of these sees first fell vacant, 
as Arsenios Apostoles, at that time Metropolitan, was a learned Greek 
and a Uniate, and in both capacities, a prime favourite of the classically 
cultured Pontiff. In 1524, however, despite the thunders of the (Ecu- 
menical Patriarch, the Greek and the Italian prelates agreed among 
themselves that the former should retain the see of Monemvasia and 
that the latter should take a Cretan diocese 1 . The connection between 
"the great Greek island" and this rocky peninsula was now close. The 
Greek priests of Crete, who had formerly gone to the Venetian colonies 
of Modon and Coron for consecration, after the loss of those colonies in 
1500 came to Monemvasia; the Cretan exchequer continued to contribute 
to the expenses of the latter; and judicial appeals from the Podesta of 
Malmsey lay to the colonial authorities at Candia, instead of being 
remitted to Venice ; for, as a Monemvasiote deputation once plaintively 
said, the expenses of the long journey had been defrayed by pawning the 
chalices of the churches. Even now Monemvasia is remote from the 
world; in those Venetian days she was seldom visited, not only because 
of her situation, but because of the fear which ships' captains had of her 
inhabitants 2 . 

The humiliating peace of 1540, which closed the Turco- Venetian war 
of 1537, closed also the history of Venice in the Morea till the brief 
revival at the close of the seventeenth century. This shameful treaty 
cost the Republic her two last possessions on the mainland of Greece — 
Nauplia and Monemvasia, both still uncaptured and the latter scarcely 
assailed by the Turkish forces 3 . Admiral Mocenigo was sent to break as 
best he could to her loyal subjects the sad news that the Republic had 
abandoned their homes to the Turks. The Venetian envoy, if we may 
believe the speech which Paruta puts into his mouth, repeated to the 
weeping people the ancient adage, ubi bene, ibi patria, and pointed out 
to them that they would be better off in a new abode less exposed than 
their native cities had been to the Turkish peril. In November a Venetian 
fleet arrived in the beautiful bay of Nauplia and off the sacred rock of 

1 Sanudo, Diarii, vn. 714; xxni. 536; xxiv. 669; xxv. 64; xxix. 402; xxxi. 
227; xxxv. 363; xliv. 475; LV. 296; N&>$ 'EWyvofirynwv, III. 56. 

2 Sanudo, Diarii, xi. 349; xxxiii. 366; Sathas, iv. 224, 227, 229, 234; 
Lamansky, Les Secrets de FEtat de Venise, p. 059; Feyerabend, op. cit. fol. 112. 

3 Predelli, Commemoriali, vi. 236, 238. 

M. 16 



242 



FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 



Monemvasia to remove the soldiers, the artillery, and all the inhabitants 
who wished to live under Venetian rule. Then the banner of the 
Evangelist was lowered, the keys of the two last Venetian fortresses in 
the Morea were handed to Kassim Pasha, and the receipts for their 
transfer were sent to Venice 1 . 

The inhabitants of the two cities had been loyal to Venice, and Venice 
was loyal to them. The first idea of transporting the Monemvasiotes to 
the rocky island of Cerigo — then partly a Venetian colony and partly 
under the rule of the great Venetian family of Verier, which boasted its 
descent from Venus, the fabled goddess of Kythera — was abandoned, 
in deference to the eloquent protests of the Metropolitan, and lands were 
assigned to the exiles in the more fertile colonies of the Republic. A 
commission of five nobles was appointed to consider the claims, and 





f&yXs) 




Fig. 2. Arms on Well-Head in the Castle. 



provide for the settlement, of the stradioti, or light horsemen from 
Nauplia and Monemvasia, who had fought like heroes against the Turks ; 
and this commission sat for several years, for the claimants were numerous 
and not all genuine 2 . Some, like the ancient local family of Daimono- 
yannes, formerly lords of Cerigo, received lands in Crete 3 , where various 
members of the Athenian branch of the great Florentine family of the 
Medici, which had been settled for two hundred years at Nauplia, also 
found a home. Scions of the clan of Mamonas went to Zante and Crete, 
and are found later on at Corinth, Nauplia, Athens and Corfu. Others 
were removed to Corfu, where they soon formed an integral part of the 
Corfiote population and where the name of these stradioti is still 
preserved in a locality of the island ; while others again were transplanted 

1 Paruta, Historia Venetiana, i. 451-3. 

1 Lami, Delicice Eruditorum, xv. 203; Sathas, op. cit. vm. 310-3, 320-1, 335, 
344. 377-8. 441-3. 

s Ibid. 342, 413, 450, 454. 



MONEMVASIA 243 

to Cephalonia, Cyprus, or Dalmatia. Not a few of them were soon, 
however, smitten with home-sickness; they sold their new lands and 
returned to be Turkish subjects at Nauplia and Monemvasia 1 . 

The Venetian fortifications; the old Venetian pictures on the 
eikonostasis of the 'E\/eo//.ei/o9 church; the quaint Italian chimneys, 
and the well-head up in the castle, which bears the winged Hon of St 
Mark, two private coats of arms, the date MDXIV and the initials S R 
upon it, the latter those of Sebastiano Renier, Podestd from 15 10 to 15 12 
(to whom the first coat belongs, while the second is that of Antonio 
Garzoni, Podestd in 1526 and again in 1538, when he was the last Podestd 
before the Turkish conquest), still speak to us of this first Venetian 
occupation, when the ancient Byzantine city, after the brief vicissitudes 
of French and Papal government, found shelter for nearly eighty years 
beneath the flag of the Evangelist (Plate V, Fig. 2 and Text-fig. 2). 

APPENDIX 

TWO VENETIAN DOCUMENTS RELATING TO THE 
ACQUISITION OF MONEMVASIA IN 1464 

I. — Regina fol. 52. 

mcccclxiiij indictione xij. 

Die xxi Septembris. 

Cum per gratiam omnipotentis Dei acquista sit in partibus grecie 
insula Staliminis dives et opulenta in qua sunt tres terre cum Castellis 
viz Cochinum, Mudrum et Paleocastrum que tempore pacis reddere solent 
ducatos circa x m . Item etiam Civitas Malvasie sita in Amorea. Ad 
quorum locorum bonam gubernationem et conservationem sub obedientia 
nostri Dominii providendum est de rectoribus et camerariis e venetiis 
mittendis tam pro populis regendis et jure reddendo quam pro introitibus 
earum bene gubernandis et non perdendis sicut hucusque dicitur esse 
factum .... 

Eligatur per quattuor manus electionum in maiori consilio unus 
potestas Malvasie cum salario ducatorum V. auri in anno, sit per duos 
annos tantum; et habeat salarium liberum cum prerogativis et exemp- 
tionibus rectoris Staliminis et similiter in contumacia sua. Debeat habere 
duos famulos et tres equos et recipiat salarium suum ab insula Staliminis 
de tribus mensibus in tres menses ante tempus. 

fDe parte ..... 474 

De non ...... 14 

Non syncere ..... 9 

Die xvij Septembris mcccclxiiij in consilio di xl u . 

De parte ..... 26 

De non ...... o 

Non sync. ..... 1 

1 Sathas, op. cit. vm. 396; Meliarakes, QUoyivtia. Ma/wca. 

16 — 2 



244 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

II. — Regina fol. 56. 
Die iij Marcii 1465. 

Captum est in maiori Consilio: Quod Rector monouasie elegendus de 
tribus in tres menses habere debeat salarium suum a loco nostro stalimnis 
et quum facile accidere posset per magnas impensas quas idem stalimnis 
locus habet quod inde salarium ipsum suum habere non posset. . . . Vadit 
pars quod in quantum idem rector noster monouasie a Stalimnis insula 
salarium ipsum suum habere non posset juxta formam presentis electionis 
sue a camera nostra crete illud percipere debeat sicuti conueniens et 
honestum est de tribus in tres menses juxta formam presentis ipsius. 

fDe parte 573 

De non ...... 39 

Non syncere ..... 42 

THREE VENETIAN DOCUMENTS RELATING TO THE 
WINE-TRADE AT MONEMVASIA 

(I have altered the Venetian dates to Modern Style) : 

Jan. 9, 1420. 

Capta. 

Attenta humili et devota supplicatione fidelium civium nostrorum 
mercatorum Monavaxie et Romanie et considerato quod mercantia huiusmodi 
vinorum hoc anno parvum vel nichil valuit, ob quod ipsi mercatores multa 
et maxima damna sustinuerunt, ob quibus (sic) nullo modo possunt ad 
terminum quatuor mensium sibi limitatum solvere eorum datia prout nobis 
supplicaverunt; Vadit pars quod ultra terminum quatuor mensium sibi 
concessum per terrain ad solvendum datia sua pro suis monavasiis et 
romaniis, concedatur eisdem et prorogetur dictus terminus usque ad duos 
menses ultra predictos menses quatuor sibi statuitos per terram ut supra 
dando plezariam ita bonam et sufficientem pro ista prorogatione termini, 
quod comune nostrum sit securum de datio suo, solvendo ad terminum 
debitum. 

De parte omnes. 

(Archivio di Stato Venezia — Deliberazioni Senato Misti Reg. 53. c. 21.) 

Feb. 19, 142 1. 

Capta. 

Quod audita devota supplicatione fidelium civium nostrorum 
mercatorum Romanie et Monovasie Venetiis existentium, et intellectis 
damnis que receperunt iam annis tribus de ipsis vinis et maxime hoc anno 
quia per piratas accepte sibi fuerunt plures vegetes huiusmodi vinorum, et 
considerato quod ilia que habent non possunt expedire, propter que damna 
non possunt solvere sua datia ad terminum sibi limitatum per ordines 
nostros. Et audita superinde responsione offitialium nostrorum datii vini 
ex nunc captum sit quod ultra dictum terminum sibi limitatum per ordines 
nostros elongetur terminus solvendi dicta datia ipsorum vinorum usque duos 
alios menses. 

De parte omnes. 

De non o. 

Non sinceri o. 

(Archivio di Stato Venezia — Deliberazioni Senato Misti Reg. 53. c. 112.) 



MONEMVASIA 245 

Feb. 0, 1428. 
In Consilio Rogatorum. 
Capta. 

Quod mercatoribus Monovaxie et Romanic qui non potuerunt 
expedire vina sua propter novitates presentes elongetur terminus solvendi 
datia sua per unum mensem ultra terminum limitatum per ordines nostros. 

De parte omnes alii. 

De non 2. 

Non sinceri 1. 

(Archivio di Stato Venezia — Deliberazioni Senato Misti Reg. 56. carte. 
76t°.) 



10. THE MARQUISATE OF BOUDONITZA 

(1204-1414) 

Of all the feudal lordships, founded in Northern Greece at the time 
of the Frankish Conquest, the most important and the most enduring 
was the Marquisate of Boudonitza. Like the Venieri and the Viari in the 
two islands of Cerigo and Cerigotto at the extreme south, the lords of 
Boudonitza were Marquesses in the literal sense of the term — wardens 
of the Greek Marches — and they maintained their responsible position 
on the outskirts of the Duchy of Athens until after the establishment of 
the Turks in Thessaly. Apart, too, from its historic importance, the 
Marquisate of Boudonitza possesses the romantic glamour which is shed 
over a famous classical site by the chivalry of the middle ages. What 
stranger accident could there have been than that which made two noble 
Italian families the successive guardians of the historic pass which is for 
ever associated with the death of Leonidas ! 

Among the adventurers who accompanied Boniface of Montferrat, 
the new King of Salonika, on his march into Greece in the autumn of 
1204, was Guido Pallavicini, the youngest son of a nobleman from near 
Parma who had gone to the East because at home every common man 
could hale him before the courts 1 . This was the vigorous personality who, 
in the eyes of his conquering chief, seemed peculiarly suited to watch 
over the pass of Thermopylae, whence the Greek archon, Leon Sgouros, 
had fled at the mere sight of the Latins in their coats of mail. Accord- 
ingly, he invested him with the fief of Boudonitza, and ere long, on the 
Hellenic substructures of Pharygae, rose the imposing fortress of the 
Italian Marquesses. 

The site was admirably chosen, and is, indeed, one of the finest in 
Greece. The village of Boudonitza, Bodonitza, or Mendenitza, as it is now 

1 Litta, Le famiglie celebri italiane, vol. v. Plate XIV. 



246 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

called, lies at a distance of three and a half hours on horseback from the 
baths of Thermopylae and nearly an hour and a half from the top of the 
pass which leads across the mountains to Dadi at the foot of Parnassos. 
The castle, which is visible for more than an hour as we approach from 
Thermopylae, stands on a hill which bars the valley and occupies a truly 
commanding position (Plate VI , Figs. I and 2) . The Warden of the Marches, 
in the Frankish times, could watch from its battlements the blue Maliac 
Gulf with the even then important town of Stylida, the landing-place 
for Zetounion, or Lamia; his eye could traverse the channel up to, and 
beyond, the entrance to the Gulf of Almiro, as the Gulf of Volo was then 
called; in the distance he could descry two of the Northern Sporades — 
Skiathos and Skopelos — at first in the hands of the friendly Ghisi, then 
reconquered by the hostile Byzantine forces. The northernmost of the 
three Lombard baronies of Eubcea with the bright streak which marks 
the baths of iEdepsos, and the little island of Panaia, or Canaia, between 
Eubcea and the mainland, which was one of the last remnants of Italian 
rule in this part of Greece, lay outstretched before him; and no pirate 
craft could come up the Atalante channel without his knowledge. Land- 
wards, the view is bounded by vast masses of mountains, but the danger 
was not yet from that quarter, while a rocky gorge, the bed of a dry 
torrent, isolates one side of the castle. Such was the site where, for 
more than two centuries, the Marquesses of Boudonitza watched, as 
advanced sentinels, first of "new France" and then of Christendom. 

The extent of the Marquisate cannot be exactly defined. In the early 
years after the Conquest we find the first Marquess part-owner of Lamia 1 ; 
his territory extended down to the sea, upon which later on his suc- 
cessors had considerable commercial transactions, and the harbour from 
which they obtained their supplies would seem to have been simply 
called the skala of Boudonitza. In 1332 Adam, the Archbishop of 
Antivari, alludes to the "castle and port of Boudonice (sic), through 
which we shall have in abundance grain of all kinds from Wallachia" 
(i.e. Thessaly, the "Great Wallachia" of the Byzantine historians and 
of the "Chronicle of the Morea") 2 . The Pallavicini's southern frontier 
marched with the Athenian seigneurie; but their feudal relations were 
not with Athens, but with Achaia. Whether or no we accept the story 
of the " Chronicle of the Morea," that Boniface of Montferrat conferred 
the suzerainty of Boudonitza upon Guillaume de Champlitte, or the 
more probable story of the elder Sanudo, that the Emperor Baldwin II 

1 Epistoles Innocentii III (ed. Baluze), 11. 477. 
Fontes Rerum Austriacarum, Abt. 11. B. xiv. 201, 213, 218, 222; Recueil des 
Historiens des Croisades. Documents Arminiens, 11. 508. 



PLATE VI 




Fig. i. Boudonitza. The Castle from the West. 




Fig. 2. Boudonitza. The Castle from the East. 



PLATE VII 




Fig. i. Boudoxitza. The Keep and the Hellenic Gateway. 




Fig. 2. Boudonitza. The Hellenic Gateway. 



THE MARQUISATE OF BOUDONITZA 247 

gave it to Geoffroy II de Villehardouin 1 , it is certain that later on the 
Marquess was one of the twelve peers of Achaia 2 , and in 1278 Charles I 
of Naples, in his capacity of Prince of Achaia, accordingly notified the 
appointment of a bailie of the principality to the Marchioness of that 
day 3 . It was only during the Catalan period that the Marquess came to 
be reckoned as a feudatory of Athens 4 . Within his dominions was 
situated a Roman Catholic episcopal see — that of Thermopylae, 
dependent upon the metropolitan see of Athens. At first the bishop 
resided at the town which bore that name; on its destruction, however, 
during those troublous times, the bishop and canons built an oratory 
at Boudonitza. Even there, however, the pirates penetrated and killed 
the bishop, whereupon in 1209 the then occupant of the see, the third 
of the series, begged Innocent III to allow him to move to the abbey of 
"Communio" — perhaps a monastery founded by one of the Comneni — 
within the same district 5 . Towards the close of the fourteenth century, 
the bishop was commonly known by the title of " Boudonitza," because 
he resided there, and his see was then one of the four within the confines 
of the Athenian Duchy 6 . 

Guido, first Marquess of Boudonitza, the " Marchesopoulo," as his 
Greek subjects called him, played a very important part in both the 
political and ecclesiastical history of his time — just the part which we 
should have expected from a man of his lawless disposition. The 
"Chronicle" above quoted represents him as present at the siege of 
Corinth. He and his brother, whose name may have been Rubino, were 
among the leaders of the Lombard rebellion against the Latin Emperor 
Henry in 1209; he obstinately refused to attend the first Parliament of 
Ravenika in May of that year; and, leaving his castle undefended, he 
retreated with the still recalcitrant rebels behind the stronger walls of 
the Kadmeia at Thebes. This incident procured for Boudonitza the 
honour of its only Imperial visit; for the Emperor Henry lay there one 
evening — a certain Wednesday — on his way to Thebes, and thence rode, 
as the present writer has ridden, through the closure, or pass, which leads 
over the mountains and down to Dadi and the Boeotian plain — then, as 
now, the shortest route from Boudonitza to the Boeotian capital 7 , and 

1 T6 XpoviKbv tov MoptoK, 11. 1559, 3187; Le Livre de la Conqueste, 102; Libra 
de los Fechos, 25, 26; Cronaca di Morea, apud Hopf, Chroniques gr&co-romanes, 424; 
Dorotheos of Monemvasia, Bipxiov 'IvToptieov (ed. 1814), 461; Sanudo, Istoria 
del Regno di Romania, apud Hopf, op. cit. 100. 

2 Canciani, Barbarorum Leges Antiques, m. 507; Muntaner, Cronaca, ch. 261. 

3 Archivio storico italiano, Ser. IV. 1. 433. 

* Rubi6 y Lluch, Los Navarros en Grecia, 482. 

8 EpistolcB Innocentii III, 11. 265. 8 Rubi6 y Lluch, op. cit. 481. 

7 Cairels apud Buchon, Histoire des ConquStes, 449 ; Henri de Valenciennes apud 
Buchon, Recherches et Matiriaux, 11. 203, 205-6. 



248 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

at that time the site of a church of our Lady, Sta Maria de Clusurio, the 
property of the abbot and canons of the Lord's Temple. Like most of 
his fellow-nobles, the Marquess was not over-respectful of the rights and 
property of the Church to which he belonged. If he granted the strong 
position of Lamia to the Templars, he secularised property belonging to 
his bishop and displayed a marked unwillingness to pay tithes. We find 
him, however, with his fellows, signing the concordat which was drawn up 
to regulate the relations between Church and State at the second 
Parliament of Ravenika in May, 1210 1 . 

As one of the leading nobles of the Latin kingdom of Salonika, Guido 
continued to be associated with its fortunes. In 122 1 we find him acting 
as bailie for the Regent Margaret during the minority of the young King 
Demetrius, in whose name he ratified a convention with the clergy 
respecting the property of the Church 2 . His territory became the refuge 
of the Catholic Archbishop of Larissa, upon whom the bishopric of 
Thermopylae was temporarily conferred by Honorius III, when the 
Greeks of Epeiros drove him from his see. And when the ephemeral 
kingdom had fallen before them, the same Pope, in 1224, ordered 
Geoff roy II de Villehardouin of Achaia, Othon de la Roche of Athens, 
and the three Lombard barons of Eubcea to aid in defending the castle 
of Boudonitza, and rejoiced that 1300 hyperperi had been subscribed by 
the prelates and clergy for its defence, so that it could be held by "G. 
lord of the aforesaid castle," till the arrival of the Marquess William of 
Montferrat 3 . Guido was still living on May 2, 1237, when he made his 
will. Soon after that date he probably died ; Hopf 4 states in his genealogy, 
without citing any authority, that he was killed by the Greeks. He had 
survived most of his fellow-Crusaders; and, in consequence of the Greek 
reconquest of Thessaly, his Marquisate was now, with the doubtful 
exception of Larissa, the northernmost of the Frankish fiefs, the veritable 
" March " of Latin Hellas. 

Guido had married a Burgundian lady named Sibylle, possibly a 
daughter of the house of Cicon, lately established in Greece, and 
therefore a cousin of Guy de la Roche of Athens. By her he had two 
daughters and a son, Ubertino, who succeeded him as second Marquess. 
Despite the feudal tie which should have bound him to the Prince of 
Achaia, and which he boldly repudiated, Ubertino assisted his cousin, 
the "Great Lord" of Athens, in the fratricidal war between those 
prominent Frankish rulers, which culminated in the defeat of the 

1 Epistolce Innocentii III, 11. 261-2, 264, 477, 835-7; Honorii III Opera, iv. 414. 
8 Raynaldi Annates Ecclesiastici (ed. 1747), I. 492. 
* Regesta Honorii III, 11. 96, 167, 207, 333. 

4 Chroniques grico-romanes , 478; and apud Ersch und Gruber, Allgemeint 
Encyklopadie, lxxxv. 276. 






THE MARQUISATE OF BOUDONITZA 249 

Athenians at the battle of Karydi in 1258, where the Marquess was 
present, and whence he accompanied Guy de la Roche in his retreat to 
Thebes. In the following year, however, he obeyed the summons of the 
Prince of Achaia to take part in the fatal campaign in aid of the Despot 
Michael II of Epeiros against the Greek Emperor of Nice, which ended 
on the plain of Pelagonia; and in 1263, when the Prince, after his return 
from his Greek prison, made war against the Greeks of the newly 
established Byzantine province in the Morea, the Marquess of Boudo- 
nitza was once more summoned to his aid 1 . The revival of Greek power 
in Eubcea at this period, and the frequent acts of piracy in the Atalante 
channel were of considerable detriment to the people of Boudonitza, 
whose food supplies were at times intercepted by the corsairs 2 . But the 
Marquess Ubertino profited by the will of his sister Mabilia, who had 
married Azzo VII d'Este of Ferrara, and bequeathed to her brother in 
1264 her property near Parma 3 . 

After the death of Ubertino, the Marquisate, like so many Frankish 
baronies, fell into the hands of a woman. The new Marchioness of 
Boudonitza was his second sister, Isabella, who is included in the above- 
mentioned circular note, addressed to all the great magnates of Achaia 
by Charles I of Anjou, the new Prince, and notifying to them the 
appointment of Galeran d'lvry as the Angevin vicar-general in the 
principality. On that occasion, the absence of the Marchioness was one 
of the reasons alleged by Archbishop Benedict of Patras, in the name of 
those present at Glarentza, for the refusal of homage to the new bailie 4 . 
So important was the position of the Marquisate as one of the twelve 
peerages of Achaia. 

The Marchioness Isabella died without children; and, accordingly, 
in 1286, a disputed succession arose between her husband, a Frank 
settled in the East, and the nearest male representative of the Palla- 
vicini family, her cousin Tommaso, grandson of the first Marquess's 
brother, Rubino. The dispute was referred to Guillaume de la Roche, 
Duke of Athens, in his capacity of bailie of Achaia, before the feudal 
court of which a question relating to Boudonitza would legally come. 
Tommaso, however, settled the matter by seizing the castle, and not 
only maintained himself there, but transmitted the Marquisate to his 
son, Alberto 5 . 

1 Td XpoviKbv toO Mop^wy, II. 3196-3201, 3295-6, 4613; Le Litre de la Conqueste, 
119, 160; Cronaca di Morea, 438-9; Libra de los Fechos, 56, 75. 

2 Fontes Rerum Austriacarum, Abt. 11. B. xiv. 201, 213, 218, 222. 

3 Litta, I.e. 

* Td XpoviKbv rod Moptws, 1. 7915; Le Livre de la Conqueste, 260. 
8 Hopf, apud Ersch und Gruber, Allgemeine Encyklopadie, lxxxv. 321. The 
original document has now been rendered illegible by the damp. 



250 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

The fifth Marquess is mentioned as among those summoned by 
Philip of Savoy, Prince of Achaia, to the famous Parliament and 
tournament on the Isthmus of Corinth in the spring of 1305, and as 
having been one of the magnates who obeyed the call of Philip's name- 
sake and successor, Philip of Taranto, in 1307 1 . Four years later he fell, 
at the great battle of the Kephissos, fighting against the Catalans 
beneath the lion banner of Walter of Brienne 2 , who by his will a few 
days before had bequeathed 100 hyperperi to the church of Boudonitza 3 . 

The Marquisate, alone of the Frankish territories north of the 
Isthmus, escaped conquest by the Catalans, though, as at Athens, a 
widow and her child were alone left to defend it. Alberto had married 
a rich Eubcean heiress, Maria dalle Carceri, a scion of the Lombard 
family which had come from Verona at the time of the Conquest. By 
this marriage he had become a hexarch, or owner of one-sixth of that 
great island, and is so officially described in the Venetian list of Greek 
rulers. Upon his death, in accordance with the rules of succession laid 
down in the Book of the Customs of the Empire of Romania, the Mar- 
quisate was divided in equal shares between his widow and his infant 
daughter, Guglielma. Maria did not, however, long remain unconsoled; 
indeed, political considerations counselled an immediate marriage with 
some one powerful enough to protect her own and her child's interests 
from the Catalans of Athens. Hitherto the Wardens of the Northern 
March had only needed to think of the Greek enemies in front, for all 
the territory behind them, where Boudonitza was most easily assailable, 
had been in the hands of Frenchmen and friends. More fortunate than 
most of the high-born dames of Frankish Greece, the widowed 
Marchioness had avoided the fate of accepting one of her husband's 
conquerors as his successor. Being thus free to choose, she selected as 
her spouse Andrea Cornaro, a Venetian of good family, a great personage 
in Crete, and Baron of Skarpanto. Cornaro thus, in 13 12, received, by 
virtue of his marriage, his wife's moiety of Boudonitza 4 , while her 
daughter conferred the remaining half, by her subsequent union with 
Bartolommeo Zaccaria, upon a member of that famous Genoese race, 
which already owned Chios and was about to establish a dynasty in the 
Morea 5 . 

Cornaro now came to reside in Eubcea, where self-interest as well as 
patriotism led him to oppose the claims of Alfonso Fadrique, the new 
viceroy of the Catalan Duchy of Athens. His opposition and the natural 

1 Le Livre de la Conqueste, 465; Libro de los Fechos, 114. 

2 Ibid. 120; Hopf, Chroniques grico-rotnanes, 177; Sanudo, op. at. 125. 

3 D'Arbois de Jubainville, Voyage paUographique dans le Dipartement de I'Aube, 
337. * Sanudo, l.c. * Archivio Veneto, xx. 87, 89. 



THE MARQUISATE OF BOUDONITZA 251 

ambition of Fadrique brought down, however, upon the Marquisate the 
horrors of a Catalan invasion, and it was perhaps on this occasion that 
Bartolommeo Zaccaria was carried off as a captive and sent to a Sicilian 
prison, whence he was only released at the intervention of Pope John 
XXII. It was fortunate for the inhabitants of Boudonitza that Venice 
included Cornaro in the truce which she made with the Catalans in 
1319 1 . Four years later he followed his wife to the grave, and her 
daughter was thenceforth sole Marchioness. 

Guglielma Pallavicini was a true descendant of the first Marquess. 
Of all the rulers of Boudonitza, with his exception, she was the most self- 
willed, and she might be included in that by no means small number of 
strong-minded, unscrupulous, and passionate women, whom Frankish 
Greece produced and whom classic Greece might have envied as subjects 
for her tragic stage. On the death of her Genoese husband, she con- 
sidered that both the proximity of Boudonitza to the Venetian colony of 
Negroponte and her long-standing claims to the castle of Larmena in 
that island required that she should marry a Venetian, especially as the 
decision of her claim and even her right to reside in the island depended 
upon the Venetian bailie. Accordingly, she begged the Republic to give 
her one of its nobles as her consort, and promised dutifully to accept 
whomsoever the Senate might choose. The choice fell upon Nicolo 
Giorgio, or Zorzi, to give him the Venetian form of the name, who be- 
longed to a distinguished family which had given a Doge to the Republic 
and had recently assisted young Walter of Brienne in his abortive 
campaign to recover his father's lost duchy from the Catalans. A 
Venetian galley escorted him in 1335 to the haven of Boudonitza, and 
a Marquess, the founder of a new line, once more ruled over the castle 
of the Pallavicini 2 . 

At first there was no cause to regret the alliance. If the Catalans, 
now established at Neopatras and Lamia, within a few hours of 
Boudonitza, occupied several villages of the adjacent Marquisate, despite 
the recommendations of Venice, Nicolo I came to terms with them, 
probably by agreeing to pay that annual tribute of four fully equipped 
horses to the Vicar-General of the Duchy of Athens, which we find 
constituting the feudal bond between that state and Boudonitza in the 
time of his son 3 . He espoused, too, the Euboean claims of his wife; but 
Venice, which had an eye upon the strong castle of Larmena, diplo- 
matically referred the legal question to the bailie of Achaia, of which 

1 Raynaldi op. cit. v. 95; Thomas, Dipiomatarium Veneto-Levantinum, I. 
1 20-1. 

1 Archivio Veneto, I.e.; Misti, xvi. f. 97t°. (See Appendix.) 

3 Rubi6 y Lluch, I.e. ; £urita, Anales de la Corona de Aragon, IX. f. 537. 



252 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

both Euboea and Boudonitza were technically still reckoned as depen- 
dencies. The bailie, in the name of the suzeraine Princess of Achaia, 
Catherine of Valois, decided against Guglielma, and the purchase of 
Larmena by Venice ended her hopes. Furious at her disappointment, 
the Marchioness accused her Venetian husband of cowardice and of bias 
towards his native city, while more domestic reasons increased her 
indignation. Her consort was a widower, while she had had a daughter 
by her first marriage, and she suspected him of favouring his own 
offspring at the expense of her child, Manilla, in whose name she had 
deposited a large sum of money at the Venetian bank in Negroponte. 
To complete the family tragedy played within the walls of Boudonitza 
there was only now lacking a sinister ally of the angry wife. He, too, 
was forthcoming in the person of Manfredo Pallavicini, the relative, 
business adviser, and perhaps paramour, of the Marchioness. As one of 
the old conqueror's stock, he doubtless regarded the Venetian husband 
as an interloper who had first obtained the family honours and then 
betrayed his trust. At last a crisis arrived. Pallavicini insulted the 
Marquess, his feudal superior; the latter threw him into prison, where- 
upon the prisoner attempted the life of his lord. As a peer of Achaia, the 
Marquess enjoyed the right of inflicting capital punishment. He now 
exercised it; Pallavicini was executed, and the assembled burgesses of 
Boudonitza, if we may believe the Venetian version, approved the act, 
saying that it was better that a vassal should die rather than inflict an 
injury on his lord. 

The sequel showed, however, that Guglielma was not appeased. She 
might have given assent with her lips to what the burgesses had said. 
But she worked upon their feelings of devotion to her family, which had 
ruled so long over them ; they rose against the foreign Marquess at their 
Lady's instigation; and Nicolo was forced to flee across to Negroponte, 
leaving his little son Francesco and all his property behind him. Thence 
he proceeded to Venice, and laid his case before the Senate. That body 
warmly espoused his cause, and ordered the Marchioness to receive him 
back to his former honourable position, or to deliver up his property. In 
the event of her refusal, the bailie of Negroponte was instructed to break 
off all communications between Boudonitza and that island and to 
sequestrate her daughter's money still lying in the Eubcean bank. In 
order to isolate her still further, letters were to be sent to the Catalans 
of Athens, requesting them not to interfere between husband and wife. 
As the Marchioness remained obdurate, Venice made a last effort for an 
amicable settlement, begging the Catalan leaders, Queen Joanna I of 
Naples, as the head of the house of Anjou, to which the principality of 



THE MARQUISATE OF BOUDONITZA 253 

Achaia belonged, and the Dauphin Humbert II of Vienne, then 
commanding the papal fleet against the Turks, to use their influence on 
behalf of her citizen. When this failed, the bailie carried out his in- 
structions, confiscated the funds deposited in the bank, and paid Nicolo 
out of them the value of his property. Neither the loss of her daughter's 
money nor the spiritual weapons of Pope Clement VI could move the 
obstinate Lady of Boudonitza, and in her local bishop, Nitardus of 
Thermopylae, she could easily find an adviser who dissuaded her from 
forgiveness 1 . So Nicolo never returned to Boudonitza; he served the 
Republic as envoy to the Serbian Tsar, Dushan, and as one of the Doge's 
Councillors, and died at Venice in 1354. After his death, the Marchioness 
at once admitted their only son, Francesco, the "Marchesotto," as he 
was called, now a youth of seventeen, to rule with her, and, as the 
Catalans were once more threatening her land, made overtures to the 
Republic. The latter, glad to know that a Venetian citizen was once 
more ruling as Marquess at Boudonitza, included him and his mother in 
its treaties with Athens, and when Guglielma died, in 1358, after a long 
and varied career, her son received back the confiscated property of his 
late half-sister 2 . 

The peaceful reign of Francesco was a great contrast to the stormy 
career of his mother. His Catalan neighbours, divided by the jealousies 
of rival chiefs, had no longer the energy for fresh conquests. The estab- 
lishment of a Serbian kingdom in Thessaly only affected the Marquess 
in so far as it enabled him to bestow his daughter's hand upon a Serbian 
princelet 3 . The Turkish peril, which was destined to swallow up the 
Marquisate in the next generation, was, however, already threatening 
Catalans, Serbs, and Italians alike, and accordingly Francesco Giorgio 
was one of the magnates of Greece whom Pope Gregory XI invited to 
the Congress on the Eastern question, which was summoned to meet at 
Thebes 4 on October 1, 1373. But when the Athenian duchy, of which he 
was a tributary, was distracted by a disputed succession between Maria, 
Queen of Sicily, and Pedro IV of Aragon, the Venetian Marquess, chafing 
at his vassalage and thinking that the moment was favourable for 
severing his connexion with the Catalans, declared for the Queen. He 
was, in fact, the most important member of the minority which was in 
her favour, for we are told that " he had a very fine estate," and we know 

1 Misti, xvii. f. 71; xvin. f. 10; xx. ff. 37t°, 40; xxiii. ff. 26, 3ot°, 46t°; xxiv. 
53t°, 63, io2t°, 103 (see Appendix); Predelli, CommemoricUi, 11. p. 153. 

* Monumenta spectantia historiam Slavorum meridionalium, in. 160; Predelli, 
Commemoriali, 11. 181; Misti, xxvn. f. 3; xxvni. f. 28. 

8 Orbini, Regno degli Slavi, 271. 

* Raynaldi op. cit. vu. 224; Jauna, Histoire giniraie des royaumes de Chypre, 
etc., 11. 882. 



254 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

that he had enriched himself by mercantile ventures. Accordingly he 
assisted the Navarrese Company in its attack upon the duchy, so that 
Pedro IV wrote in 138 1 to the Venetian bailie of Negroponte, begging 
him to prevent his fellow-countryman at Boudonitza from helping the 
King's enemies. As the Marquess had property in the island, he had 
given hostages to fortune. The victory of the Aragonese party closed the 
incident, and the generous policy of the victors was doubtless extended 
to him. But in 1388 the final overthrow of the Catalan rule by Nerio 
Acciajuoli made the Marquisate independent of the Duchy of Athens 1 . 
In feudal lists — such as that of 139 1 — the Marquess continued to figure 
as one of the temporal peers of Achaia 2 , but his real position was that of 
a "citizen and friend" of Venice, to whom he now looked for help in 
trouble. 

Francesco may have lived to see this realisation of his hopes, for he 
seems to have died about 1388, leaving the Marquisate to his elder son, 
Giacomo, under the regency of his widow Euphrosyne, a daughter of the 
famous insular family of Sommaripa, which still survives in the Cyclades 3 . 
But the young Marquess soon found that he had only exchanged his 
tribute to the Catalan Vicar-General for a tribute to the Sultan. We are 
not told the exact moment at which Bayezid I imposed this payment, 
but there can be little doubt that Boudonitza first became tributary to 
the Turks in the campaign of 1393-4, when "the Thunderbolt" fell 
upon Northern Greece, when the Marquess's Serbian brother-in-law was 
driven from Pharsala and Domoko, when Lamia and Neopatras were 
surrendered, when the county of Salona, founded at the same time as 
Boudonitza, ceased to exist. On the way to Salona, the Sultan's army 
must have passed within four hours of Boudonitza, and we surmise that 
it was spared, either because the season was so late — Salona fell in 
February, 1394 — or because the castle was so strong, or because its lord 
was a Venetian. This respite was prolonged by the fall of Bayezid at 
Angora and the fratricidal struggle between his sons, while the Marquess 
was careful to have himself included in the treaties of 1403, 1408, and 
1409 between the Sultan Suleyman and Venice; a special clause in the 
first of these instruments released him from all obligations except that 
which he had incurred towards the Sultan's father Bayezid 4 . Still, even 
in Suleyman's time, such was his sense of insecurity, that he obtained 
leave from Venice to send his peasants and cattle over to the strong 
castle of Karystos in Euboea, of which his brother Nicolo had become 

1 Rubi6 y Lluch, op. cit. 436, 482 ; Curita, I.e. ; Misti, xxxiv. f . 88t°. 

* Chroniques grdco-romanes, 230. 8 Misti, xli. f. 58. 

* Thomas and Predelli, Diplomatarium Veneto-Levantinum, 11. 292; Revue dt, 
V Orient latin, iv. 295, 302. 



THE MAROUISATE OF BOUDONITZA 255 

the lessee 1 . He figured, too, in the treaty of 1405, which the Republic 
concluded with Antonio I Acciajuoli, the new ruler of Athens, and might 
thus consider himself as safe from attack on the south 2 . Indeed, he was 
anxious to enlarge his responsibilities, for he was one of those who bid 
for the two Venetian islands of Tenos and Mykonos, when they were put 
up to auction in the following year. In this offer, however, he failed 3 . 

The death of Suleyman and the accession of his brother Musa in 1410 
sealed the fate of the Marquess. Early in the spring a very large Turkish 
army appeared before the old castle. Boudonitza was strong, and its 
Marquess a resolute man, so that for a long time the siege was in vain. 
"Giacomo," says the Venetian document composed by his son, "preferred, 
like the high-minded and true Christian that he was, to die rather than 
surrender the place." But there was treachery within the castle walls; 
betrayed by one of his servants, the Marquess fell, like another Leonidas, 
bravely defending the mediaeval Thermopylae against the new Persian 
invasion. Even then, his sons, "following in their father's footsteps," 
held the castle some time longer in the hope that Venice would remember 
her distant children in their distress. The Senate did, indeed, order the 
Captain of the Gulf to make inquiries whether Boudonitza still resisted 
and in that case to send succour to its gallant defenders — the cautious 
Government added — "with as little expense as possible." But before 
the watchmen on the keep could descry the Captain sailing up the 
Atalante channel, all was over; both food and ammunition had given out 
and the Zorzi were constrained to surrender, on condition that their lives 
and property were spared. The Turks broke their promises, deprived their 
prisoners of their goods, expelled them from the home of their ancestors, 
and dragged young Nicolo to the Sultan's Court at Adrianople 4 . 

Considerable confusion prevails in this last act of the history of 
Boudonitza, owing to the fact that the two leading personages, the 
brother and eldest son of the late Marquess, bore the same name of 
Nicolo. Hopf has accordingly adopted two different versions in his 
three accounts of these events. On a review of the documentary evidence, 
it would seem that the brother, the Baron of Karystos, was not at 
Boudonitza during the siege, and that, on the capture of his nephew, he 
proclaimed himself Marquess. Venice recognised his title, and instructed 
her envoy to Musa to include him in her treaty with the Sultan and to 

1 Sathas, Mvrjfieia 'EWrintKrjs Ivroplat, II. 2IO. 

2 Predelli, Commemoriali, in. p. 310 (given in full by Lampros, 'Eyypa<t>a. 
ava<f>€p6fieira els rijv fieaaiuviKijv iaroplav tQv 'AdtjvQv, 399). 

3 Sathas, op. cit. n. 145. 

* Revue de I'Orient latin, vi. 119; Sathas, op. cit. in. 431 ; Monumenta spectantia 
historiam Slavorum, IX. 90-91 ; Misti, xlviii. ff. 143, 148. 



256 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

procure at the same time the release of the late Marquess's son. Accord- 
ingly, in the peace of 141 1, Musa promised, for love of Venice and seeing 
that he passed as a Venetian, to harass him no more, on condition that 
he paid the tribute established. Not only so, but the Marquess's ships 
and merchandise were allowed to enter the Turkish dominions on pay- 
ment of a fixed duty 1 . Thus temporarily restored, the Marquisate 
remained in the possession of the uncle, from whom the nephew, even 
after his release, either could not, or cared not to claim it. He withdrew 
to Venice, and, many years later, received as the reward of his father's 
heroic defence of Boudonitza, the post of chdtelain of Pteleon, near the 
mouth of the Gulf of Volo, the last Venetian outpost on the mainland of 
North-Eastern Greece — a position which he held for eight years 2 . 

Meanwhile, his uncle, the Marquess, had lost all but his barren title. 
Though the Turks had evacuated Boudonitza, and the castle had been 
repaired, he felt so insecure that he sent his bishop as an emissary to 
Venice, begging for aid in the event of a fresh Turkish invasion and for 
permission to transport back to Boudonitza the serfs whom he had sent 
across to Karystos a few years before 3 . His fears proved to be well 
founded. In vain the Republic gave orders that he should be included 
in her treaty with the new Sultan, Mohammed I. On June 20, 1414, a 
large Turkish army attacked and took the castle, and with it many 
prisoners, the Marquess, so it would seem, among them — for in the 
following year we find his wife, an adopted daughter of the Duke of 
Athens, appealing to Venice to obtain his release from his Turkish 
dungeon 4 . He recovered his freedom, but not his Marquisate. In the 
treaty of 1416, Boudonitza was, indeed, actually assigned to him in 
return for the usual tribute; but nine years later we find Venice still 
vainly endeavouring to obtain its restitution 5 . He continued, however, 
to hold the title of Marquess of Boudonitza with the castle of Karystos, 
which descended to his son, the " Marchesotto," and his son's son 6 , till 
the Turkish conquest of Euboea in 1470 put an end to Venetian rule over 
that great island. Thence the last titular Marquess of Boudonitza, after 
governing Lepanto, retired to Venice, whence the Zorzi came and where 
they are still largely represented. 

1 Revue de I'OHent latin, iv. 513; Thomas and Predelli, op. cit. 203. 

2 Revue de V Orient latin, VI. 119; Sathas, op. cit. 430-1. 

3 Sathas, op. cit. 11. 270-1. 

4 Sanudo and Navagero, apud Muratori, S.R.I, xxn. 890, xxm. 1080; Cronaca 
di Amadeo Valier (Cod. Cicogna, N. 297), 11. f. 259; Revue de I' Orient latin, iv. 546. 

6 Sanudo and Navagero, ibid., xxn. 911, xxm. 1081; Revue de I' Orient latin, 
v. 196. 

• Sathas, op. cit. in. 429-30; Hopf, Dissertazione documentata sulla storia di 
Karystos (tr. Sardagna, 91-5). 



THE MARQUISATE OF BOUDONITZA 257 

Of the castle, where for two hundred years Pallavicini and Zorzi held 
sway, much has survived the two Turkish sieges and the silent ravages 
of five centuries. Originally there must have been a triple enclosure, for 
several square towers of the third and lowest wall are still standing in 
the village and outside it. Of the second enceinte the most noticeable 
fragment is a large tower in ruins, while the innermost wall is strengthened 
by three more. In the centre of this last enclosure are the imposing 
remains of the large square donjon (Plate VII, Fig. 1), and adjoining this 
is the most interesting feature of the castle — the great Hellenic gateway 
(Plate VII, Fig. 2), which connects one portion of this enclosure with the 
other, and which Buchon has described so inaccurately 1 . It is not " com- 
posed of six stones," but of three huge blocks, nor do "the two upper 
stones meet at an acute angle " ; a single horizontal block forms the top. 
Buchon omits to mention the Byzantine decoration in brick above this 
gateway. Of the brick conduit which he mentions I could find no trace, 
but the two cisterns remain. The large building near them is presumably 
the Frankish church of which he speaks; but the window which he found 
there no longer exists. Possibly, when the new church in the village was 
erected, the builders took materials from the chapel in the castle for its 
construction. At any rate, that very modern and commonplace edifice 
contains several fragments of ancient work. Thus, the stone threshold of 
the west door bears three large roses, while on the doorway itself are two 
stars ; and the north door is profusely decorated with a rose, two curious 
creatures like griffins, two circles containing triangles, and a leaf; above 
this door is a cross, each arm of which forms a smaller cross. As usually 
happens in the Frankish castles of Greece — with the exception of Geraki 
— there are no coats 1 of arms at Boudonitza, unless this composite cross 
is an allusion to the "three crosses," said to have been originally borne 
by one branch of the Pallavicini. The "mediaeval seal" in the possession 
of a local family dates from the reign of Otho ! But there exists a genuine 
seal of the monastery of the Holy Virgin of Boudonitza, ascribed by 
M. Schlumberger 2 to the end of the fourteenth or beginning of the 
fifteenth century. The Marquesses have left behind them neither their 
portraits — like the Palatine Counts of Cephalonia of the second dynasty 
— nor any coins — like the French barons of Salona, to whom they bear 
the nearest resemblance. One of their line, however, the Marquess 
Alberto, figures in K. Rhanghaves's play, The Duchess of Athens, and 
their castle and their ofttimes stormy lives fill not the least picturesque 
page of that romance which French and Italian adventurers wrote with 
their swords in the classic sites of Hellas. 

1 La Grice continentale et la Moris, 286. 2 Sigillographie, 177. 

M 17 



258 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

APPENDIX 
I 

I335 DIE XVI JANUARIJ. 

Capta. Quod vir nobilis Ser Nicolaus Georgio, cum sua familia et 
levibus arnesiis possit ire cum galeis nostris unionis. Et committatur 
Capitaneo, quod eum conducat Nigropontum, et si poterit eum facere deponi 
ad Bondenizam, sine sinistra armate faciat inde sicut ei videbitur. — Omnes 
de parte. 

Misti, xvi. f. 97t°. 

II 

I345 DIE 21 JULIJ. 

Capta. Cum dominacio ducalis ex debito teneatur suos cives in eorum 
iuribus et honoribus cum justicia conservare et dominus Nicolaus Georgio, 
Marchio Bondanicie, sit iniuriatus ut scitis, et Marchionatu suo per eius 
uxorem indebite molestatus, et dignum sit, subvenire eidem in eo quod cum 
honore dominacionis comode fieri potest, ideo visa et examinata petitione 
ipsius marchionis, et matura et diligenti deliberatione prehabita, consulunt 
concorditer viri nobiles, domini, Benedictus de Molino et Pangracius 
Justiniano; quod committatur consiliario ituro Nigropontum, quod post- 
quam illuc applicuerit vadat ad dominam Marchisanam, uxorem dicti domini 
Nicolay pro ambaxatore, exponendo eidem, quomodo iam diu ipsam ad 
dominacionem misit suos procuratores et ambaxatores petens sibi per 
dominacionem de uno nobilium suorum pro marito provideri, et volens 
dominacio suis beneplacitis complacere, consensit quod ipse dominus Nicolaus 
carus civis suus ad earn iret, quern ipsa domina receptando, ostendit id 
habere multum ad bonum. Et quoniam ob hoc semper Ducale Dominium 
promtum et favorabilem se exhibuit ad omnia que suam et suorum securi- 
tatem respicerent et augumentum, treuguas quamplurimas confirmando et 
opportuna alia faciendo. Sed cum nuperrime per relacionem ipsius domini 
Nicolay viri sui ad ducalis magnificentie audienciam sit deductus de morte 
cuiusdam Pallavesini inopinatus casus occursus qui mortuus fuit in culpa 
sua, sicut postmodum extitit manifestum, quia dum ipse Marchio coram 
omnibus burgensibus congregatis, de velle et consensu dicte domine ex- 
poneret rei geste seriem, ab ipsis habuit in responsum quod ipse Palavesin 
dignam penam luerat propter foliam suam, et melius erat, quod ipse, qui 
vaxallus erat mortuus fuisset quam dicto suo domino iniuriam aliquam 
intulisset, quod ecciam ipsa domina in presencia dictorum burgensium 
ratificavit. Unde consideratis predictis vellit amore dominij, ipsum 
dominum Nicolaum honori pristino restituere, quod si fecerit, quamquam 
sit iustum et honestum nobis plurimum complacebit, et erimus suis comodis 
stricius obligati. Verum si dicta domina dubitaret de recipiendo ipsum dicat 
et exponat ambaxator prefatus, quod firmiter dominacio hanc rem super se 
assumpsit et taliter imposuit civi suo quod minime poterit dubitare. Que 
omnia si dicta domina acetabit bene quidem, si vero non contentaretur et 
ipsum recipere non vellet, procuret habere et obtinere omnia bona dicti 
Marchionis que secum scripta portet antedictus ambaxator et si ipsa ea bona 
dare neglexerit, dicat quod bona sua et suorum ubicumque intromitti 
faciemus, et protestetur cum notario, quem secum teneatur ducere, quod 






THE MARQUISATE OF BOUDONITZA 259 

tantam iniuriam, quam dominacio suam propriam reputat, non poterit 
sustinere, sed providebit de remediis opportunis sicuti honori suo et 
indenitati sui civis viderit convenire, firmiter tenens quod sicut semper 
dominacio ad sui conservacionem et suorum exhibuit se promtam favora- 
bilem et benignam, sic in omnibus reperiet ipsam mutatam, agravando 
factum cum hijs et alijs verbis, ut viderit convenire. Et rediens Nigropontum 
omnia, que gexerit, fecerit et habuerit, studeat velociter dominacioni per 
suas literas denotare. Verum si dictus consiliarius iturus tardaret ire ad 
regimen suum, quod baiullus et consiliarij Nigropontis determinent quis 
consiliariorum de inde ad complendum predicta ire debebit. 

Et scribatur baiullo et consiliarij s Nigropontis, quod si habebunt post 
redditum dicti ambaxatoris, quod ipsa domina stet dura nee vellit ipsum 
dominum Nicolaum recipere, quod possint si eis videbitur facere et ordinare 
quod homines Bondanicie non veniant Nigropontum et quod homines 
Nigropontis non vadant Bondaniciam. 

Item prefati baiullus et consiliarij sequestracionem factam de aliqua 
pecunie quantitate que pecunia est damiselle Marulle filie dicte domine 
firmam tenere debeant, donee predicta fuerint reformata, pacificata vel 
dimnita, vel donee aliud sibi mandaretur de nine. 

Et scribantur litere illis de la compagna, quas dominus bayullus et 
consiliarij presentent vel presentari fatiant, cum eis videbitur, rogando 
dictos de compagna, quod cum alique discordie venerint inter virum nobilem 
dominum Nicolam Georgio et eius uxorem Marchisanam se in aliquo facto 
dicte domine intromittere non vellint quod posset civi nostro contrariare ad 
veniendum ad suam intentionem. 

De non 14 — Non sinceri 13. — Alij de parte. 

Misti, xxin. f. 26. 

Ill 

I345 DIE V AUGUST!. 

Capta. Quod respondeatur domine Marchisane Bondinicie ad suas 
litteras substinendo ius civis nostri Nicolai Georgio, cum illis verbis que 
videbuntur sequendo id quod captum fuit pridie in hoc consilio in favorem 
civis nostri. 

Misti, xxin. f. 3ot°. 

IV 

I346 DIE XXIV JANUARIJ. 

Capta. Quod scribatur nostro Baiulo et Consiliariis Nigropontis quod 
Ser Moretus Gradonico consiliarius, vel alius sicut videbitur Baiulo et Con- 
siliariis, in nostrum ambaxatorem ire debeat ad dominam Marchionissam 
Bondenicie, et sibi exponat pro parte nostra quod attenta honesta et 
rationabili requisitione nostra quam sibi fieri fecimus per virum Nobilem 
Johannem Justiniano nostrum consiliarium Nigroponti, quern ad earn 
propterea in nostrum ambaxatorem transmisimus super reformatione 
scandali orti inter ipsam et virum nobilem Nicolaum Georgio eius virum in 
reconciliatione ipsius cum dicto viro suo: Et intellecta responsione quam 
super premissis fecit nostro ambaxatori predicto gravamur et turbamur 
sicut merito possumus et debemus, de modo quem ipsam servavit et servat 
erga dictum virum suum. Nam sibi plene poterat et debebat sufficere 



260 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

remissio et reconciliatio cum [eo?] facta coram nobis per dictum eius virum, 
secundum nostrum mandatum, et nuncio suo in nostra presencia constituto 
de omni off ensa et iniuria sibi facta, et debebat esse certa quod quicquid idem 
Marchio in nostra presencia et ex nostro mandato promittebat effectualiter 
observasse. Et quod volentes quod bona dispositio dicti viri sui et paciencia 
nostra de tanta iniuria facta civi nostro sibi plenius innotescat deliberavimus 
iterato ad earn mittere ipsum in nostrum ambaxatorem ad requirendum et 
rogandum ipsam quod debeat reconciliare cum dicto viro suo et eum 
recipere ad honorem et statum in quo erat antequam inde recederet, nam 
quamvis hoc sit sibi debitum et conveniat pro honore et bono suo, tamen erit 
gratissimum menti nostre et ad conservacionem ipsius marchionisse et 
suorum avidius nos disponet et circa hoc alia dicat que pro bono facto 
viderit opportuna. 

Si vero dicta marchionissa id facere recusaret nee vellet condescendere 
nostre intentioni et requisitioni predicte, dictus Ser Moretus assignet ter- 
minum dicte Marchionisse unius mensis infra quern debeat complevisse cum 
effectu nostram requisitionem premissam. Et sibi expresse dicat, quod 
elapso dicto termino nulla aha requisitione sibi facta, cum non intendamus 
dicto civi nostro in tanto suo iure deficere, faciemus intromitti personas et 
bona suorum et sua ubicumque in forcio nostro poterunt reperire. Et ultra 
hoc providebimus in dicto facto de omnibus favoribus et remediis, que pro 
bono et conservacione dicti civis nostri videbimus opportuna. Et si propter 
premissa dicta Marchionissa ipsum recipere et reintegrare voluerit bene 
quidem sin autem scribatur dicto baiulo et consiliariis quod elapso termino 
dicti mensis et ipsa marchionissa premissa facere recusante mittant ad nos 
per cambium sine aliquo periculo yperpera octomillia quinquaginta vel circa 
que sunt apud Thomam Lippomanum et Nicolaum de Gandulfo, qua 
pecunia Venecias veniente disponetur et providebitur de ipsa sicut dominationi 
videbitur esse iustum. 

Capta. Item quod scribatur domino Delphino Vihennensi et illis de 
Compagna in favorem dicti civis nostri et recommendando ei iura et 
iusticiam ipsius in ilia forma et cum illis verbis que dominacioni pro bono 
facti utilia et necessaria videbuntur. 

Non sinceri 15 — Non 12. — De parte 57. 

Misti, xxiii. f. 46t°. 



I348 DIE XI FEBRUARIJ PRIME INDICTIONIS. 

Capta. Quod possint scribi littere domino Pape et aliquibus Cardinalibus 
in recommendacione iuris domini Nicolai Georgio marchionis Bondinicie 
nostri civis in forma inferius anotata. 

Domino Pape. 

Sanctissime pater pro civibus meis contra Deum et iusticiam aggravatis, 
Sanctitati Vestre supphcationes meas porrigo cum reverentia speciah : Unde 
cum nobilis vir Nicolaus Georgio Marchio Bondinicie honorabilis civis meus, 
iam duodecim annis matrimonii iura contraserit cum domina Marchionissa 
Bondinicie predicte et cum ea affectione maritali permanserit habens ex ea 
filium legiptimum, qui est annorum undecim, ipsa domina Marchionissa in 
preiudicium anime sue, Dei timore postposito ipsum virum suum recusat 
recipere et castrum Bondinicie et alia bona spectantia eidem suo viro tenet 






THE MARQUISATE OF BOUDONITZA 261 

iniuste et indebite occupata in grave damnum civis mei predicti et Dei 
iniuriam manifestam precipientis, ut quos Deus coniunxit homo non 
separet: Unde Sanctitati Vestre humiliter supplico quatenus Clementie 
Vestre placeat dictum civem meum habere in suo iure favorabiliter com- 
mendatum, ut dicta domina eum tanquam virum legiptimum recipiat et 
affectione maritah pertractet sicut iura Dei precipiunt, atque volunt, et 
salus animarum etiam id exposcit. Cum ipse civis meus sit paratus ex sua 
parte ipsam dominam pro uxore legiptima tractare pacifice et habere. 

Misti, xxiv. f. 63. 

Note. — The "Misti" are cited throughout from the originals at Venice; 
I have corrected the dates to the modern style. 



11. ITHAKE UNDER THE FRANKS 

In works descriptive of Greece it is customary to find the statement 
that the island of Odysseus was "completely forgotten in the middle 
ages," and even so learned a mediaeval scholar as the late Antonios 
Meliarakes, whose loss is a severe blow to Greek historical geography, 
asserts this proposition in his admirable political and geographical work 
on the prefecture of Cephalonia 1 . But there are a considerable number 
of allusions to Ithake during the Frankish period, and it is possible, at 
least in outline, to make out the fortunes of the famous island under its 
western lords. 

The usual name for Ithake in Italian documents is Val di Compare, 
the earliest use of which, so far as I can ascertain, occurs in the Genoese 
historian Caffaro's Liberatio Orientis, written in the first half of the 
twelfth century 2 . According to K. Bergotes of Cephalonia this name was 
given to the island by an Italian captain, who was driven to anchor there 
one stormy night. Seeing a light shining through the darkness, he landed, 
and found that it proceeded from a hut in which a child had lately been 
born. At the request of the parents he accepted the office of godfather, 
or tcovfiTrdpo? at the child's christening, and named the valley where the 
hut lay Val di Compare, to commemorate the event. Whether this 
derivation be correct or not, the name stuck to the island for several 
centuries, though we shall also find the classical Ithake still surviving 
contemporaneously with it. The neighbouring islands of Zante and 
Cephalonia were severed from the Byzantine empire in 1185, at the time 
of the invasion of Greece by the Normans of Sicily, and were occupied 
by their admiral, Margaritone of Brindisi. Ithake is not specially 
mentioned as included among his conquests, but its connection with the 

1 Tetaypa<pla rod vo/xou KetpaWrivlas, pp. 153, 190. 
* Pertz, Monumenta Germanics historica, xvni. 46. 



262 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

other two islands under the rule of his immediate successors makes it 
very probable. Six years later, in the graphic account of Greece as it was 
in 1191, ascribed to Benedict of Peterborough, Fale (Valle) de Compar 
is said to have had a specially evil reputation for piracy, and the channel 
between it and Cephalonia is described as a favourite lair of those 
robbers 1 . After Margaritone's death he was succeeded by a Count Maio, 
or Matthew, a member of the great Roman family of Orsini, who seems 
to have been born in Apulia — according to one account he came from 
Monopoli — and who at the time of the fourth crusade was lord of 
Cephalonia, Zante, and Theachi, elqual se clamado agora Vol de Compare 2 , 
under the suzerainty of the king of Sicily. Although the two larger of 
those islands had fallen to the share of Venice by the partition treaty he 
and his descendants continued in possession of them and of Ithake, 
though he thought it wise, in 1209, to acknowledge the overlordship of 
the Republic. A Venetian document of 1320, alluding to this transaction, 
specially mentions Val di Compare as one of the islands, for which he 
then did homage 3 . In 1236 the count recognised as his suzerain Prince 
Geoff roy II of Achaia, and he and his successors were henceforth 
reckoned among the twelve peers of that principality, in whose history 
they played an important part 4 . 

The next mention of Ithake occurs in a Greek document of 1264, 
in which Count Matthew's son and successor, "the most high and 
mighty Richard, palatine count and lord of Cephalonia, Zakynthos, and 
Ithake," confirms the possessions of the Latin bishopric of Cepha- 
lonia 5 . Here Ithake is called by its classical name, which was not con- 
fined to Greeks, for we find it used in a Venetian document of 1278, 
where the island is again mentioned as the scene of piracies 6 . Later on, 
in 1294, a document in the Angevin archives at Naples mentions the 
promise of Count Richard to bestow "the castle of Koronos" — a name 
still given to part of the island of Cephalonia — " or the island of Ithake " 
(sive vellent castrum Corony de dominio suo, sive vellent insulam Ythace) 
upon his son John I, on the occasion of the latter's marriage with the 
daughter of Nikephoros I, despot of Epeiros 7 . Richard, in spite of the 
repeated remonstrances of Charles II of Naples, who, in virtue of the 

1 Gesta Regis Ricardi, Rolls Series, 11. 197-200, 203-5. 

2 Libro de los fechos (Aragonese version of "The Chronicle of the Morea"), 

PP- 53-4- 

8 A. Dandolo apud Muratori, Rer. Ital. Script, xn. 336; Misti, vi. fol. 17, quoted 
in Archivio Veneto, xx. 93. * Albericus Trium Fontium, 11. 558. 

6 Miklosich und Miiller, Acta Diplomata Grceca Medii JEvi, v. 44. 

• Tafel und Thomas, Fontes Rerutn Austriacarum, Abt. n. B. xiv. p. 215. 

7 Riccio, Saggio di Codice Diplomatico, Supplemento, pt 1, p. 87; NVos 'EXXijvo- 
fivrifiwVf xi. 415. 



ITHAKE UNDER THE FRANKS 263 

treaty of Viterbo, was suzerain of Achaia, and accordingly of Cephalonia, 
failed to carry out this promise. We next hear of Val di Compare in the 
above-mentioned Venetian document of 1320, in which Count John I's 
son, Nicholas, who had two years earlier murdered his nephew, the last 
Despot of Epeiros of the house of the Angeloi, and had made himself 
Despot, is reminded that his ancestor Matthew had done homage, as he 
was now offering to do, for the three islands of Cephalonia, Zante, and 
Val di Compare to the Venetian republic. 

Although not mentioned by name Ithake doubtless followed the 
fortunes of Cephalonia and Zante when those islands were conquered 
from the Orsini by John of Gravina, prince of Achaia, in 1324. The 
"county of Cephalonia," of which the island of Odysseus had long 
formed a part, was thus under the direct authority of the Angevins, 
and was transferred by John of Gravina, together with the principality 
of Achaia, to Robert of Taranto in 1333, after which date the same 
Angevin officials held office in both Achaia and the insular county till 
Robert bestowed the latter in 1357 upon his friend Leonardo Tocco, 
a Neapolitan courtier, whose family came from Benevento. In an 
ecclesiastical document 1 of 1389 the Greek bishop of Methone, writing 
about the archbishopric of Levkas, mentions "the duchess Franka 
(Francesca), lady of Levkas, Ithake, Zante and Cephalonia," the allusion 
being to the daughter of Nerio I Acciajuoli of Athens, who had in the 
previous year married Carlo I Tocco, count of Cephalonia and duke of 
Levkadia. A little earlier, in a Piedmontese document 2 of 1387, we find 
Amedeo of Savoy, one of the claimants to the principality of Achaia, 
rewarding the zeal of one of his Greek supporters, Joannes Laskaris 
Kalopheros, with Cephalonia, Zante, Val di Compare, and other places 
as hereditary possessions — a gift which was, of course, never carried out, 
as the islands were not Amedeo's to bestow. Spandugino 3 specially 
mentions "Itaca," or "Val di Compare," as being part of the insular 
dominions of the Tocchi, and Carlo II Tocco is described in documents 
of 1430 and 1433, and by the annalist Stefano Magno, as comes palatinus 
CephalonicB, Ithaca, et Jacinti — a designation repeated in a document of 
1458 after his death 4 . We find an allusion to it under both its classical 
and its mediaeval name in the Liber Insularum of Buondelmonti 5 , 
written in 1422, and the latter also occurs in a Venetian document of 

1 Miklosich und Muller, op. cit. 11. 139. 

2 Hopf, apud Ersch und Gruber, lxxxvi. 48. 

3 Dell' Origine dei Principi Turchi (ed. 1551), pp. 12, 26, 27, 62. 

4 Buchon, Nouvelles Recherches, I, i. 319; 11. i. 351, 352; Magno apud Hopf, 
Chroniques grdco-romanes, p. 196. 

* P- 57 (ed. Sinner). 



264 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

1430, where Val di Compare 1 is stated to belong to Carlo II. Six years 
later the archaeologist Cyriacus of Ancona, visiting the "king of the 
Epeirotes," as he calls that prince, mentions Itaci (sic) insula as opposite 
the mainland 2 . After Leonardo III lost practically all his continental 
possessions to the Turks in 1449 he still retained the islands, Ithake 
among them, under the protection of Venice, of which both he and his 
father were honorary citizens, and under the nominal suzerainty of the 
kings of Naples. From a document of 1558 we learn that it was in his 
time that the family of Galates — the only Ithakan family which enjoyed 
the privileges of nobility in the Venetian period, and which is still extant 
in the island — first received exemptions 3 . It was he too who revived 
the Orthodox see of Cephalonia and bestowed it, together with spiritual 
jurisdiction over Ithake, upon Gerasimos Loverdo 4 . 

When Mohammed II sent Achmet Pasha to conquer all that remained 
of Leonardo's dominions in 1479 we are told by Stefano Magno 5 that the 
Turkish commander " ravaged also the island of Itacha (sic), called Valle 
di Compare, which belonged to the said lord," whom he also styles 
"palatine count of Cephalonia, Itaca (sic) and Zakynthos." Loredano, 
the Venetian admiral, thereupon sent some galleys to Ithake and rescued 
seven or eight persons — an act of which the pasha complained. This 
devastation of the island will account for the fact that, in 1504, the 
Venetian government, which then owned Cephalonia and Zante, took 
steps for repopulating "an island named Val di Compare, situated 
opposite Cephalonia, at present uninhabited, but reported to have been 
formerly fertile and fruitful." Accordingly lands were offered to settlers, 
free from all taxes for five years, at the end of which time the colonists 
were to pay to the Treasury of Cephalonia the same dues as the inhabi- 
tants of that island 6 . Thenceforth down to 1797 Ithake remained 
beneath the sway of the Venetian republic. The offer of the senate seems 
to have been successful; among those who accepted it were the family 
of Boua Grivas, of Albanian origin, connected with the clan of Boua, 
which had formerly ruled over Arta and Lepanto and had played a part 
in the Albanian revolts of 1454 and 1463 in the Morea, that of Petalas, 
and that of Karavias, which in modern times produced a local historian 
of Ithake 7 . In 1548 Antonio Calbo, the retiring proweditore of Cephalonia, 

1 Jorga, "Notes et Extraits pour servir a l'Histoire des Croisades," in Revue de 
I'Orient latin, vi. 84. 

a Epigrantmata reperta per Illyricum, p. v. 

3 Hopf, apud Ersch und Gruber, lxxxvi. 160; Meliarakes, op. cit. 150. 

* Lunzi, Delia condizione politica delle Isole Ionie, p. 190. 

& Sathas, Mvrineia'EWyviKTjs'lffTopias, vi. 215-6; cf. Lunzi, op. cit. p. 197. 

6 Sathas, op. cit. v. 157; Meliarakes, op. cit. 191; Sanudo, Diarii, v. 883, 1009. 

7 Karavias, 'laropia rrjs vqaov 'I^dmjs &xb tuv apxcuordruv xpovwv /Mexpl rod 1849. 



ITHAKE UNDER THE FRANKS 265 

reported to the Venetian government, that "under the jurisdiction of 
Cephalonia there is another island, named Thiachi, very mountainous 
and barren, in which there are different harbours and especially a 
harbour called Vathi; in the island of Thiachi are three hamlets, in three 
places, inhabited by about sixty families, who are in great fear of 
corsairs, because they have no fortress in which to take refuge 1 ." The 
three hamlets mentioned in this report are doubtless those of Paleo- 
chora, Anoe, and Exoe, which are regarded as the oldest in the 
island. 

The former counts of Ithake were till lately the only Latin rulers 
of Greece who still existed in prosperous circumstances. But in the 
seventeenth century they took the title of "prince of Achaia" — to 
which they were not entitled, although the counts of Cephalonia had 
once been peers of Achaia and Leonardo II and Carlo I had for a short 
time occupied Glarentza. The modern representative of the family was 
Carlo, Duke of Regina 2 , who succeeded his cousin Francesco Tocco in 
1894. But he is now dead and his only son was killed in a motor 
accident. 



12. THE LAST VENETIAN ISLANDS IN THE AEGEAN 

It has hitherto been asserted by historians of the Latin Orient 
that, after the capture of the Cyclades by the Turks in the sixteenth 
century, the two Venetian islands of Tenos and Mykonos remained in 
the possession of the Republic down to 1715. As to Tenos, this statement 
is unimpeachable; as to Mykonos, despite the assertions of Hopf 3 and 
Hertzberg 4 , who quote no authorities for the fact, all the evidence goes 
to show that it ceased to belong to Venice in the sixteenth century. 

The two islands, the only members of the Cyclades group under the 
direct rule of the Venetian government, were bequeathed to the Republic 
by George III Ghisi, their ancestral lord, upon whose death in 1390 they 
passed into its hands. The islanders implored Venice not to dispose of 
them ; and, though there were not failing applicants for them among the 
Venetian princelets of the Levant, she listened to the petition of the 
inhabitants. At first an official from Negroponte was sent as an annual 
governor; then, in 1407, Venetian nobles who would accept the governor- 
ship of Tenos and Mykonos, with which Le Sdiles, or Delos, was joined, 

1 Sathas, op. cit. vi. 285. 

2 De la Ville, Napoli Nobilissima (1900), xii. 180-1. 

* Geschichte Griechenlands in Ersch und Gruber's Allgemeine Encyklopadie. 
lxxxvi. 170, 173, 177, and 179; Geschichte der Insel Andros, p. 128. 

* Geschichte Griechenlands, in. 26, 39, 190. 



266 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

for a term of four years, paying a certain sum out of the revenues to 
Venice and keeping the balance for themselves, were invited to send in 
their names. One of them was appointed, still under the authority of 
the bailie of Negroponte 1 ; and this system continued down to 1430, 
when a rector was sent out from Venice for two years, and the two 
islands were thenceforth governed directly by an official of the Republic. 
Mykonos remained united with Tenos under the flag of St Mark till 
the first great raid of the Turkish fleet in the Cyclades under Khaireddin 
Barbarossa in 1537. Neither Andrea Morosini nor Paruta, nor yet Hajji 
Kalifeh, mentions its fate in their accounts of that fatal cruise; but 
Andrea Cornaro in his Historia di Candia 2 relates that, after taking the 
two islands of Thermia and Zia, Barbarossa went to Mykonos, many of 
whose inhabitants escaped to Tenos, while the others became his 
captives. After the Turkish admiral's departure the fugitives returned; 
but in the same year one of Barbarossa's lieutenants, a corsair named 
Granvali, with eighteen ships, paid a second visit to Mykonos and carried 
off many of them. Accordingly the shameful treaty 3 between Venice 
and the Sultan, concluded in 1540, in both versions mentions Mykonos 
among the islands ceded to the Sultan, while Tenos was expressly 
retained. How, in the face of this, Hopf can have asserted that Mykonos 
still remained Venetian it is difficult to understand. Nor is this all. In 
a document of 1545 the Republic orders her ambassador at Constantinople 
to obtain the restoration of the island 4 ; in 1548 a certain Zuan Zorzo 
Muazzo, of Tenos, begs, and receives, from the Venetian government 
another fief in compensation for that which he had lost in Mykonos 5 . A 
petition from the inhabitants of Tenos to Venice in 1550 mentions the 
lack of ships "at the present time when Mykonos has been lost 6 ." We 
have, too, the statement of Sauger 7 , who becomes more trustworthy as 
he approaches his own time, that Duke Giovanni IV Crispo, of Naxos, 
bestowed the island of Mykonos (apparently in 1541) upon his daughter 
on her marriage with Giovanfrancesco Sommaripa, lord of Andros. There 
is nothing improbable in this. The Turks acquiesced at the same time 
in the action of the duke in turning the Premarini family out of their 
part of Zia, and bestowing that also upon his son-in-law; they may have 
had no objection to his dealing in the same manner with the devastated 

1 Sathas, Mv^eta "E\\i)viicr}s 'lffropias, I. 14; II. 145, 163, 168, 178; ill. 181. 
Predelli, Commemoriali, III. 278, 354. 

2 Library of St Mark, Venice, ms. Ital. CI. vi. 286, vol. 11. ff. 94, 95. 

3 Predelli, Commemoriali, vi. 236, 238. 

4 Lamansky, Secrets de I'Etat de Venise, p. 58. 

8 Sathas, op. cit. vni. 451. 6 Ibid. iv. 245. 

7 Histoire nouvelle des anciens Dues de I'Archipel, p. 296. 



THE LAST VENETIAN ISLANDS IN THE iEGEAN 267 

island of Mykonos. At any rate the latter was no longer Venetian. The 
long and elaborate reports 1 of the Venetian commissioners, who visited 
Tenos in 1563 and 1584, make no mention whatever of Mykonos, except 
that in the latter document we hear of a Grimani as Catholic bishop of 
Tenos and of the sister island ; nor does Foscarini allude to it in his report 
on Cerigo and Tenos in 1577. More conclusive still, while the style of the 
Venetian governor is "rector of Tenos and Mykonos" down to 1593, 
from that date onwards the governor is officially described as " rector of 
Tenos" alone 2 . Hopf 3 is, therefore, wrong in giving us a long list of 
rettori di Tinos e Myconos from 1407 to 17 17. It seems probable that 
the latter island ceased to belong to Venice in 1537, but that the rector 
of Tenos continued to bear the name of Mykonos also, as a mere form, 
for rather more than half a century longer. Possibly it may have 
belonged to the Sommaripa of Andros from 1541 to 1566, when that 
dynasty was dethroned. 

These conclusions are confirmed by the travellers and geographers 
who wrote about the Levant between that date and the loss of Tenos. 
Porcacchi 4 , in 1572, mentions Mykonos, without saying to whom it 
belonged. One of the Argyroi, barons of Santorin, who, in 158 1, gave 
Crusius the information about the Cyclades which he embodied in his 
Turco-Gracia 5 , had nothing to say about Mykonos, except that it 
contained one castle and some hamlets, while he specially mentioned 
that Tenos and Cerigo were "under Venice." Botero 6 , in 1605, giving 
a full list of the Venetian possessions in the Levant, includes the Ionian 
Islands and Tenos alone. Neither the French ambassador, Louis des 
Hayes 7 , who visited Greece in 1630, nor the sieur du Loir 8 , who sailed 
with him, is more explicit, though both describe Crete, Cerigo, and 
Tenos as the sole Venetian islands in the JEgean. Thevenot 9 , in 1656, 
and Boschini 10 , ten years later, tell us that Mykonos was "almost 
depopulated" because of corsairs, but are likewise silent as to its 
ownership. Baudrand, in his Geographia 11 , remarked, however, that it 
had been sub dominio Turcarum a sceculo et ultra, cum antea Venetis 
pareret, an account which appears to me to coincide with the real facts. 
But both Spon 12 and Wheler 13 censured the geographer for his statement 
that it had been Venetian, so completely had the Venetian tradition 

1 Lamansky, op. cit. pp. 641-2, 651 et sqq.; Sathas, op. cit. iv. 310-40. 

2 M. C. Scrutinio alle voci, vols. vu. and vm. 

3 Chroniques grico-romanes, pp. 373-6. 

* L'Isole le piit famose del Mondo, p. 77. 8 P. 206. 

4 Relatione della Rep. Venetiana, pp. 18-9. 7 Voyage de Levant, pp. 348-9. 
8 Viaggio di Levante (Ital. tr.), p. 3. 9 Relation d'un Voyage, p. 196. 

10 L' Archipelago, p. 42. u Vol. 1. p. 687. 

18 Voyage, I. 145-7. 18 Journey into Greece, pp. 62-5. 



268 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

faded at the time of their visit in 1675. At that period, as they inform 
us, the Sultan's galleys never failed to come there every year to collect 
the capitation tax, and the governor of the island was a Greek sent by 
the Turks from Constantinople. Both travellers surmised, however, 
that the island might perhaps have changed hands during the Candian 
war, when it was neglected. Their surmise is rendered probable by the 
remark of Sebastiani 1 , who visited it in 1666, during that long struggle. 
For he says that it was then ecclesiastically under the jurisdiction of the 
Catholic bishop of Tenos, who had begged the Venetian admiral, Cornaro, 
to give his deputy in Mykonos the old Venetian church of San Marco for 
the use of the twenty Latin inhabitants. Randolph 2 confirms their story 
of its subjection to the Sultan, for he tells of a visit paid to the island 
by the Capitan Pasha in 1680. Piacenza 3 reiterates their criticism of 
Baudrand, and mentions that the atlases of the Mediterranean erroneously 
described it as insula altera hoc in tractu maritime- ReipubliccB Vendee 
obsequium prcestans, whereas it was really "under the Turkish yoke." 
Dapper 4 takes the same view. After mentioning that Tenos "is the last 
Venetian island in this quarter of the Levant" he adds that "there are 
authors who allege that Mykonos is in subjection to Venice." Finally, 
in 1700, Tournefort 5 found the island dependent on the Capitan Pasha, 
to whom it paid the capitation tax, while in the last war it had been 
subject to the bey of Kos. Although, he says, it was conquered by 
Barbarossa, the Venetian governor of Tenos still continues to style 
himself provveditore of Mykonos also. But throughout the period of the 
Candian war and right down to the end of the Venetian occupation of 
Tenos the governor of the latter is always called simply Rettor a Tine in 
the official registers 6 . If further refutation were needed of Hopf's 
statement that Mykonos was captured from the Venetians in 1715, it 
may be added that Ferrari 7 , the contemporary authority for the 
surrender of Tenos, never mentions it, nor does it figure in the peace of 
Passarovitz. 

13. SALONIKA 

Salonika, "the Athens of Mediaeval Hellenism" and second to 
Athens alone in contemporary Greece, has been by turns a Mace- 
donian provincial city, a free town under Roman domination, a Greek 

1 Viaggio all' Arcipelago, p. 68. 

* The Present State of the Islands in the Archipelago, pp. 14-20. 
3 L'Egeo Redivivo, pp. 331-2. 

* Naukeurige Beschryving (French tr.), pp. 267, 354. 

* Voyage du Levant, 1. 108. • Vols. xv. to xviii. 
7 Delle Notizie Storiche delta Lega, p. 41. 



SALONIKA 269 

community second only to Constantinople, the capital of a short-lived 
Latin kingdom and of a brief Greek empire to which it gave its name, a 
Venetian colony, and a Turkish town 1 . There, in 1876, the murder of the 
consuls was one of the phases of the Eastern crisis; there, in 1908, the 
Young Turkish movement was born ; there, in 1913, King George of 
Greece was assassinated; and there in 1916 M. Venizelos established his 
Provisional Government, in the city which served as a base for the Allies 
in their Macedonian campaign. 

Nor has Salonika's contribution to literature been inconsiderable. 
The historian Petros Patrikios in the sixth century; the essayist 
Demetrios Kydones, who wrote a "monody over those who fell in 
Salonika" in 1346, during the civil war between John Cantacuzene and 
John V Palaiologos; John Kameniates and John the Reader, the 
historians respectively of the Saracen and the Turkish sieges, and 
Theodore Gazes, who contributed to spread Greek teaching in the West, 
were natives of the place. Plotinos and John, hagiographers of the 
seventh century; Leo, the famous mathematician of the ninth; Niketas, 
who composed dialogues in favour of the union of the churches; 
Eustathios, the Homeric commentator, historian of the Norman siege 
and panegyrist of St Demetrios; Nikephoros Kallistos Xanthopoulos, 
the ecclesiastical historian; Gregorios Palamas, Neilos, and Nicholas 
Kabasilas, the polemical theologians of the fourteenth century; and 
Symeon, the liturgical writer, who died just before the final Turkish 
capture of the city, were among those who occupied this important 
metropolitan see; while the rhetoricians, Nikephoros Choumnos and the 
grammarian Thomas Magistros, addressed to the Thessalonians missives 
on the blessings of justice and unity in the fourteenth century. And pre- 
cedents for the exile of Abdul Hamid II at Salonika may be found in the 
banishment thither of Licinius, the rival of Constantine, of Anastasios II 
in 716, and of Theodore Studita during the Iconoclast controversy. 

1 Greek mediaeval scholars, owing to the disturbed political conditions, have 
scarcely had time since Salonika became Greek to continue the historical studies of 
Tafel, Papageorgiou, and Tafrali — for even the last composed his two valuable 
treatises on the topography of Salonika and its history in the fourteenth century 
early in 1912, therefore before the reconversion of the mosques into churches and 
while the city was still Turkish. But the well-known mediaevalist, Professor 
Adamantiou, has already written a handbook on Byzantine Thessalonika, H Byfav- 
tij»tj QeaffaXovtKi) (Athens, 1914) ; M. Risal has popularised the story of this " Coveted 
City," La Ville convoitte (3rd ed., Paris, 1917); K. Zesiou, the epigraphist, has 
examined the Christian monuments; the late Professor Lampros published "eight 
letters " of its Metropolitan Isidore, who nourished towards the end of the fourteenth 
century; and K. Kugeas has edited the note-book of an official of the archbishopric 
who was at Salonika between 1419 and 1425, a few years before its conquest by the 
Turks. See Ilpa/o-ucd T7}s...'Apxouo\oytK9js 'Eratpcias tou 1913. PP- * 19-57 > NVos 
'EW-qvofjiVTjuwv, IX. 343-414; Byz. Zeitschr. xxm. 144-63. 



270 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

Salonika has no very ancient history. It did not exist till after the 
death of Alexander the Great, when Kassander, who became king of 
Macedon, founded it in 315 B.C., and gave to it the name of his wife, 
Thessalonike, who was half-sister of the famous Macedonian conqueror, 
just as he bestowed his own upon another town, from which the western- 
most of the three prongs of the peninsula of Chalkidike still retains the 
name of Kassandra. When the Romans conquered and organized 
Macedonia, Thessalonika became the capital of that province, remaining, 
however, a free city with its own magistrates, the TroXtrapxai, to whom 
St Paul and Silas were denounced on their memorable visit. It is a proof 
of the technical accuracy of the author of the Acts of the Apostles, that 
this precise word occurs as the name of the local magistracy in the 
inscription formerly on the Vardar gate, but now in the British Museum. 
The description in the Acts further shows that the present large Jewish 
colony of Salonika, which is mostly composed of Spanish Jews, des- 
cendants of the fugitives from the persecutions of the end of the 
fifteenth century, had already a counterpart in the first. We may infer 
that Salonika was a prosperous town, and its importance in the Roman 
period is shown by the fact that Cicero, who was not fond of discomfort, 
selected it in 58 B.C. as his place of exile, and that Piso found it worth 
plundering during his governorship. But the sojourn of the Roman 
orator left a less durable mark upon the history of Salonika than that of 
the Apostle. It was not merely that two of his comrades, Aristarchos 
and Secundus, were Thessalonian converts, but mediaeval Greek writers 
lay special stress upon the piety of what was called par excellence "the 
Orthodox City " — probably for its conservative attitude in the Iconoclast 
controversy. Salonika furnished many names to the list of martyrs, and 
one of them, St Demetrios, a Thessalonian doctor put to death in 306 
by order of Galerius 1 became the patron of his native city, which he is 
believed to have saved again and again from its foes. The most binding 
Thessalonian oath was by his name 2 ; his tomb, from which a holy oil 
perpetually exuded, the source of many miraculous cures, is in the 
beautiful building, now once more a church, which is called after him ; 
it was on his day, October 26 (o.s.), that in 1912 Salonika capitulated to 
the Greek troops, and there were peasant soldiers at the battle of 
Sarantaporon who firmly believed that they had seen him fighting 
against the Turks for the restoration of his church and city to his own 
people 3 , just as their ancestors had beheld him, sword in hand, defending 

1 Migne, Patr. Gr., cxvi. 1116, 1169, 1173, 1185 (where "Maximian Herculius" 
of the text is corrected to Galerius, the younger Maximian). 

2 Akropolites (ed. Teubner), 1. 82. 3 Adamantiou, 49. 



SALONIKA 271 

its walls against the Slavs. The story of his miracles forms a voluminous 
literature, and on the walls of his church his grateful people represented 
all the warlike episodes in which he had saved them from their foes. 
Some of these mosaics have survived the conversion of the church into 
the Kassimie mosque, and the great fire of August 18, 1917, and among 
them is a portrait of the saint between a bishop and a local magnate. 
Nor was St Demetrios the only Thessalonian saint. The city also 
cherished the tomb of St Theodora of JEgina., who had died at Salonika 
in the ninth century. Its walls contain the name of Pope Hormisdas. 

Like Constantinople, Salonika was devoted to the sports of the 
hippodrome ; and, in 390, the imprisonment of a favourite charioteer on 
the eve of a race, in which he was to have taken part, provoked an 
insurrection, punished by a massacre. Theodosius I, then on his way to 
Milan, ordered the Gothic garrison to wreak vengeance upon the 
inhabitants; the next great race-meeting was selected, when the citizens 
had come together to witness their favourite pastime, and 15,000 persons 
were butchered in the hippodrome. St Ambrose, Archbishop of Milan, 
refused to allow the Emperor to enter the cathedral, and made him 
repent for eight months his barbarous treatment of a city where he had 
celebrated his wedding. Of Roman Salonika there still exists a memorial 
in the arch of Galerius, with its sculptures representing the Emperor's 
Asiatic victories; a second arch, the Vardar gate, was sacrificed fifty 
years ago to build the quay; while a Corinthian colonnade, with eight 
Karyatides, known to the Jews as Las Incantadas, a part of the Forum, 
was removed by Napoleon III to France. The pulpit, from which St Paul 
was believed to have spoken, and which used to stand outside the 
church of St George, was removed — so I was informed when last at 
Salonika — by a German in the time of Abdul Hamid. 

Salonika had been chiefly important in Roman times, because the 
Via Egnatia which ran from Durazzo, "the tavern of the Adriatic" (as 
Catullus calls it), passed through its "Golden" and " Kassandreotic " 
gates. But in Byzantine days its value was increased owing to its 
geographical position. As long as the Exarchate of Ravenna existed, it 
lay on the main artery uniting Constantinople with the Byzantine 
province in Northern Italy, and it was an outpost against the Slavonic 
tribes, which had entered the Balkan peninsula, where they have ever 
since remained, but which, despite many attempts, have never taken 
Salonika. Of these invaders the most formidable, and the most per- 
sistent, were the Bulgarians, whose first war with their natural enemies, 
the Greeks, was waged for the possession of Salonika, because of the 
heavy customs dues which they had to pay there, and who, more than 



272 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

a thousand years later, still covet that great Macedonian port, the 
birthplace of the Slavonic apostles, the brothers 'Constantine (or Cyril) 
and Methodios. 

The influence of these two natives of Salonika, partly historical and 
partly legendary, has not only spread over the Slavonic parts of the 
Balkan peninsula, but forms in the church of SanClemente a link between 
the Balkans and Rome. The brothers were intended by nature to 
supplement one another: Constantine was a recluse and an accomplished 
linguist, Methodios a man of the world and an experienced administrator. 
Both brothers converted the Slavs of Moravia to Christianity, and it 
was long believed that a terrifying picture of the Last Judgement from 
the hand of Methodios had such an effect upon the mind of Boris, the 
Bulgarian prince, that he embraced the Christian creed. The real fact is, 
that Boris changed his religion (like his namesake in our own day) for 
political reasons, as a condition of obtaining peace from the Byzantine 
Emperor, Michael III, in 864, taking in baptism the name of his imperial 
sponsor. Tradition likewise attributes to Cyril the invention of the 
Cyrillic alphabet, which still bears his name and is that of the Russians, 
Serbs, and Bulgars. But Professor Bury 1 , the latest writer on this 
question, considers that the alphabet invented by Cyril for the use of the 
Bulgarian and Moravian converts was not the so-called Cyrillic (which 
is practically the Greek alphabet with the addition of a few letters, and 
would, therefore, be likely to offend the Slav national feeling), but the 
much more complicated Glagolitic, which still lingers on in the Slavonic 
part of Istria, on the Croatian coast, and in Northern Dalmatia. In 
this language, accordingly, his translation of the Gospels and his 
brother's version of the Old Testament were composed, and old Slavonic 
literature began with these two Thessalonians, whose names form to- 
day the programme of Bulgarian, just as Dante Alighieri is of Italian 
expansion. On another mission, to Cherson on the Black Sea, Cyril is 
said to have discovered the relics of St Clement, who had suffered 
martyrdom there by being tied to an anchor and flung into the waves. 
He brought them to Rome, where the frescoes in San Clemente before 
Monsignor Wilpert's researches were believed to represent the Slavonic 
apostles, Cyril before Michael III, and the transference of his remains 
to that church from the Vatican — for he died in Rome in 869. 

Thus sentimental and commercial reasons impelled the Bulgarians 

to attack Salonika. Both the great Bulgarian Tsars of the tenth century, 

Symeon and Samuel, strove to obtain it, and during the forty years for 

which the famous Greek Emperor Basil, "the Bulgar-Slayer," con- 

1 A History of the Eastern Empire, pp. 381-401, 485-8. 



SALONIKA 273 

tended against Samuel for the mastery of Macedonia, Salonika was the 
headquarters, and the shrine of its patron-saint the inspiration, of the 
Greeks, as Ochrida was the capital of the Bulgars. We learn from the 
historian Kedrenos that there was at the time a party which favoured 
the Bulgarians in some of the Greek cities 1 ; but in 1014 the Emperor, 
like the King of the Hellenes in 1913, and in the same defile, called 
by the Byzantine historian " Kleidion " (or " the key ") — which has been 
identified with the gorge of the Struma, not far from the notorious fort 
Roupel — utterly routed his rival, and took, like King Constantine, 
the title of "Bulgar-Slayer." Samuel escaped, only to die of shock at 
the spectacle of the 15,000 blinded Bulgarian captives, each hundred 
guided by a one-eyed centurion, whom the victor sent back to their Tsar. 
Basil celebrated his triumph in the holy of holies of Hellenism, the 
majestic Parthenon, then the church of Our Lady of Athens, where 
frescoes executed at his orders still recall his visit and victory over the 
Bulgarians. Thus the destruction of the first Bulgarian empire was 
organised at Salonika and celebrated at Athens, just like the defeat of 
the same enemies 900 years later. But even after the fall of the Bulgarian 
empire we find a Bulgarian leader besieging Salonika for six days, and 
only repulsed by the personal intervention of St Demetrios 2 , whom the 
terrified Bulgarian prisoners declared that they had seen on horseback 
leading the Greeks and breathing fire against the besiegers. 

But Salonika was no longer a virgin fortress. An enemy even more 
formidable than the Bulgarians had captured it, the Saracens, who from 
823 to 961 were masters of Crete. Of this, the first of the three conquests 
of Salonika, we have a description by a priest who was a native of the 
city and an eye-witness of its capture, John Kameniates, as well as a 
sermon by the patriarch Nicholas 3 . The "first city of the Macedonians" 
was indeed a goodly prize for the Saracen corsairs, whose base was "the 
great Greek island." Civic patriotism inspired the Thessalonian priest 
with a charming picture of his home at the moment of this piratical raid, 
in 904. He praises the natural outer harbour, formed by the projecting 
elbow of the "E/a/3o\oi/ (the "Black Cape," or Karaburun, of the 
Turks) 4 ; the security of the inner port, protected by an artificial mole; 
the great city climbing up the hill behind it ; the vineyards and hospitable 
monasteries, whose inmates (unlike their modern successors) take no 
thought of politics; the two lakes (now St Basil and Beshik), with their 
ample supply of fish, which stretch almost across the neck of the 

1 "• 451- * Ibid., pp. 529, 531-2. 

* Migne, Pair. Gr., ex. 26. 

* Kameniates, pp. 491, 519; Theodore Studita, in Migne, Pair. Gr., xcix. 917. 

M. 18 



274 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

Chalkidic peninsula; and to the west the great Macedonian plain 
(treeless then, as now), but watered by the Axios (the modern Vardar) 
and lesser streams. In times of peace Salonika was the debouche of the 
Slavonic hinterland; the mart and stopping-place of the cosmopolitan 
crowd of merchants who travelled along the great highway from West 
to East that still intersected it ; in short, both land and sea conspired to 
enrich it. Unfortunately, it was almost undefended on the sea side, for 
no one had ever contemplated any other danger than that from the 
Slavs of the country, and the population was untrained for war, but 
more versed in the learning of the schools and in the beautifully 
melodious hymns of the splendid Thessalonian ritual. 

On Sunday, July 29, fifty-four Saracen ships were sighted off Kara- 
burun under the command of Leo, a renegade, who on that account was 
all the more anxious to display his animosity to his former co-religionists. 
He at once detected the weak point of the defences — the low sea-wall, 
which had not been put into a state of proper repair 1 , — and ordered his 
men to scale them. This attempt failed, nor was a second, to burn the 
"Roma" and the " Kassandreotic " gates on the east — the latter 
destroyed in 1873 — more serviceable. The admiral then fastened his 
ships together by twos, and on each pair constructed wooden towers, 
which overtopped the sea-wall. He then steered them to where the 
water was deep right up to the base of the fortifications, and began to 
fire with his brazen tubes. The sea-wall was abandoned by its terrified 
defenders, and an Ethiopian climbing on to the top to see if their flight 
were merely a ruse, when once he had assured himself that it was 
genuine, summoned his comrades to follow him. A terrible massacre 
ensued; some of the inhabitants occupied the Akropolis, then known as 
"St David's," but now called "the Seven Towers," whence a few Slavs 
escaped into the country; others fled to the two western gates, "the 
Golden" and "the Litaian" — the "New gate" of the Turks, destroyed 
in 191 1 — where the besiegers butchered them as they were jammed 
together in the gateways. Our author with his father, uncle, and two 
brothers took refuge in a bastion of the walls opposite the church of 
St Andrew. When the Ethiopians approached, he threw himself at the 
feet of their captain, offering to reveal to him the hidden treasure of the 
family, if the lives of himself and his relatives were spared. The captain 
agreed, but the author did not escape two wounds from another band 
of pillagers, and witnessed the massacre of some 300 of his fellow-citizens 
in the church of St George. And, if his life had been spared, he was still 
a captive; 800 prisoners, besides a crew of 200, were herded in the ship 
1 An inscription found in 1874 confirms Kameniates: Byz. Zeitschr. x. 151-4. 



SALONIKA 275 

which transported him to Crete, and he has described in vivid language 
the horrors of that passage in the blazing days of August without air or 
water. Over and above those who perished during the voyage, which 
lasted a fortnight for fear of the Greek fleet, 22,000 captives were landed 
to be sold as slaves. Even then his troubles were not over. A hurricane 
sprang up on the voyage from Crete to Tripoli, and the narrative closes 
as the author is anxiously awaiting at Tarsus the hour of his liberation. 
A curious illustration in a manuscript of Skylitzes remains, like his story, 
to remind us of this siege. 

Salonika recovered from the ravages of the Saracens, who later in 
the tenth century were driven out of Crete, and the collapse of the 
Bulgarians in the eleventh enabled her to develop her trade. Three 
churches, of St Elias, of the Virgin, and of St Panteleimon, date from 
this period, to which belong the extant seals of Constantine Diogenes, 
Basil II 's lieutenant, and of the Metropolitans Paul and Leo 1 . The 
Byzantine satire, Timarion 2 , which was composed in the twelfth century, 
gives an interesting account of the fair of St Demetrios, to which came 
not only Greeks from all parts of the Hellenic world, but also Slavs from 
the Danubian lands, Italians, Spaniards, Portuguese, and Celts from 
beyond the Alps. It is curious that this list omits the Jews, now such an 
important element at Salonika, for they are mentioned in the seventh 
century, and Benjamin of Tudela, who visited the city about the time 
that Timarion was written, found 500 there 3 . As for Italians, we hear of 
Venetians and Pisans obtaining trading-rights, and having their own 
quarter and the distinctive name of Bovpyiiatot,*. 

Not long after the brilliant scene described by the Byzantine satirist 
a terrible misfortune befell Salonika — its capture by the Normans of 
Sicily. The usurper, Andronikos I, then sat on the throne, and Alexios, 
a nephew of the late Emperor Manuel I, fled to the court of William II 
of Sicily, and implored his assistance. William consented, and despatched 
an army to Salonika by way of Durazzo, and a fleet round the Pelo- 
ponnese. On August 6, 1185, the land force began the siege, of which 
the Archbishop Eustathios, the commentator on Homer, was an eye- 
witness and historian. Salonika was commanded by David Comnenos, 
who bore a great Byzantine name, but was — by the accordant testimony 
of another contemporary, Niketas, who describes him as "more craven 
than a deer," and of the archbishop, who calls him "little better than a 
traitor" — a lazy, cowardly, and incompetent officer, who, in order to 
prevent his supersession by some one more capable, sent a series of 

1 Schlumberger, Sigillographie , pp. 102-6. 2 Ellissen, Analekten, iv. 46-53. 
3 Tafel, De ThesscUonica, p. 474. * Eustathios (ed. Bonn), p. 449. 

18—2 



276 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

lying bulletins to the capital, that all was well. The walls were in good 
repair, except (as in 904) at the harbour, but the reservoir in the castle 
leaked; and many of the most capable inhabitants had been allowed to 
escape. Still the remainder, and not least the women, who completely 
put to shame the effeminate commander on his pacific mule, showed 
bravery and patriotism, while the archbishop specially mentions the 
courage of some Serbians in the garrison 1 . There were, however, traitors 
in the city and neighbourhood — Jews and Armenians, and on August 24 
the city fell. The conduct of the learned archbishop at this crisis was in 
marked contrast with that of the miserable commander. Eustathios 
acted like a true pastor of his flock. The invaders found him calmly 
awaiting them in his palace, whence, seizing him by his venerable beard, 
they dragged him to the hippodrome, and thence, through lines of 
corpses, to the arsenal. There he was put on board the ship of a pirate, 
who demanded 4000 gold pieces as his ransom. As the archbishop 
pleaded poverty, he was next day escorted to the presence of Alexios 
himself, and thence to Counts Aldoin and Richard of Acerra, by whom 
he was at last restored to his palace, where he took refuge in a tiny bath- 
room in the garden. 

Meanwhile, the Normans had shown no respect for the churches of 
the city. They danced upon the altars; they used the sacred ointment 
which flowed from the tomb of St Demetrios as boot-polish; they 
interrupted the singing by their obscene melodies and imitated the nasal 
intonation of the eastern priesthood by barking like dogs. But it is best 
to pass over the revolting details of the sack, for which the only excuse 
was the massacre of the Latins in Constantinople three years earlier. 
Eustathios, by his influence with Count Aldoin, was able to mitigate 
some of the tortures of his flock; he describes the miserable plight of 
these poor wretches, robbed of their houses and almost stark naked, 
and the strange appearance which they presented (like the Messina 
refugees after the earthquake of 1908) in their improvised hats and 
clothes. More than 7000 of them had perished in the assault, but the 
archbishop notes with satisfaction that the Normans lost some 3000 
from their excessive indulgence in pork and new wine. Vengeance, too, 
soon befell them. A Greek army under Alexios Branas defeated them 
on the Struma, and in November they evacuated Salonika 2 . But their 
treatment of Salonika embittered the hatred between Latins and Greeks, 
and prepared the way for the Fourth Crusade. 

Barely twenty years after the Norman capture, Salonika became the 



1 Eustathios, p. 452. 

* Niketas, pp. 384-401, 471. 



SALONIKA 277 

capital of a Latin kingdom. Boniface, marquess of Montferrat, was the 
leader of the crusaders who, with the help of the Venetians, overthrew 
the Greek empire in 1204, and partitioned it into Latin states. Of these 
the most important after the Latin empire, of which Constantinople 
became the capital, was the so-called Latin kingdom of Salonika, of 
which Boniface was appointed king, and which, nominally dependent 
upon the Latin Emperor, embraced Macedonia, Thessaly, and much of 
continental Greece, including Athens. Of all the artificial creations of 
the Fourth Crusade, which should be a warning to those who believe 
that nations can be partitioned permanently at congresses of diplomatists, 
the Latin kingdom of Salonika was the first to fall. From the outset its 
existence was undermined by jealousy between its king and the Latin 
Emperor, whose suzerainty he and his proud Lombard nobles were loath 
to acknowledge. For this reason Boniface, whose wife, Margaret of 
Hungary, was widow of the Greek Emperor, Isaac II, endeavoured to 
cultivate his Greek subjects. But, in 1207, he was killed by the Bul- 
garians, who would have taken Salonika, had not a traitor (or, as the 
pious believed, St Demetrios) slain their tsar. 

Boniface's son, although born in the country and named after 
Salonika's patron-saint (whose church was, however, the property of the 
chapter of the Holy Sepulchre while a Latin archbishop occupied the 
see), was then barely two years old. His mother was regent, but the real 
power was wielded by her bailie, the ambitious count of Biandrate, whose 
policy was to separate the kingdom from the Latin empire and draw it 
closer to the Italian marquisate. His quarrels with the Emperor Henry 
were viewed with joy by the Greeks ; and, after his retirement, and in 
the absence of the young king in Italy, the kingdom was easily occupied, 
in 1223, by Theodore Angelos 1 , the vigorous ruler of Epeiros, where, as 
at Nice, the city of the famous council, Hellenism, temporarily exiled 
from its natural capital, had found a refuge. The Greek conqueror 
exchanged the more modest title of "Despot of Epeiros" for that of 
"Emperor of Salonika," while the exiled monarch and his successors 
continued to amuse themselves by styling themselves titular kings of 
Salonika for another century. But the separate Greek empire of Salonika 
was destined to live but little longer than the Latin kingdom. The first 
Greek Emperor, by one of those sudden reverses of fortune so charac- 
teristic of Balkan politics in all ages, fell into the hands of the Bulgarians ; 
and, after having been reduced to the lesser dignity of a Despotat, the 
empire which he had founded was finally annexed, in 1246, to the 

1 Salonika was still Lombard in May 1223: Pitra, Analecta sacra et classica, 
vii. 335-8. 577- 



278 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

stronger and rival Greek empire of Nice, which, in 1261, likewise 
absorbed the Latin empire of Constantinople. No coins of the Latin 
kingdom exist; but we have a seal of Boniface, with a representation of 
the city walls upon it. Of the Greek empire of Salonika there are silver 
and bronze pieces, bearing the figure of the city's patron-saint; while a 
tower contains an inscription to "Manuel the Despot," identified by 
Monsignor Duchesne 1 with Manuel Angelos (1230-40), the Emperor 
Theodore's brother and successor, but locally ascribed to a Manuel 
Palaiologos, perhaps the subsequent Emperor Manuel II, Despot and 
governor of Salonika in 1369-70. 

Salonika, restored to the Byzantine empire, enjoyed special privi- 
leges, second only to those of the capital. Together with the region 
around it, it was considered as an appanage of one of the Emperor's sons 
(e.g. John VII, nephew, and Andronikos, son of Manuel II). It was 
sometimes governed by the Empresses, two of them Italians, Jolanda of 
Montferrat, wife of Andronikos II, a descendant of the first king of 
Salonika, and Anne of Savoy, wife of Andronikos III, who was com- 
memorated in an inscription over the gate of the castle, which she 
repaired in 1355. The court frequently resided there: we find Andro- 
nikos III coming to be healed by the saint, and the beauteous Jolanda, 
when she quarrelled with her husband, retired to Salonika and 
scandalised Thessalonian society with her accounts of her domestic life. 
As in our own day, Salonika was the favourite seat of opposition to the 
imperial authority. During the civil wars of the fourteenth century, 
such as those between the elder and the younger Andronikos and 
between John V Palaiologos and John Cantacuzene, it supported the 
candidate opposed to Constantinople, so that we may find precedents 
in its mediaeval history for its selection as the headquarters of the Young 
Turkish movement. It enjoyed a full measure of autonomy, had its own 
"senate," elected its own officials, was defended by its own civic guard, 
and administered by its own municipal customs. It even sent its own 
envoys abroad to discuss commercial questions. Its annual fair on the 
festival of St Demetrios still attracted traders from all the Levant to 
the level space between the walls and the Vardar. Jews, Slavs, and 
Armenians, as well as Greeks, crowded its bazaars; scholars from outside 
frequented its high schools, and Demetrios Kydones 2 compared it with 
Athens at its best. 

The fourteenth century was, indeed, the golden age of Salonika in 

1 Mission an Mont Athos, p. 64; Wroth, Catalogue of the Coins of the Vandals, 
pp. 193-203; Schlumberger, Melanges d'Archeologie byzantine, 1. 57. 

2 Migne, Patr. Gr. cix. 644. 



SALONIKA 279 

art and letters. The erection of the churches of the Twelve Apostles and 
St Catherine continued the tradition of the much earlier churches of 
St George, St Sophia, and St Demetrios. The clergy followed in the 
footsteps of the learned Eustathios, and the beauty, wit, and reading of 
a Thessalonian lady, Eudokia Palaiologina, turned the head of a son of 
Andronikos II, when governor of Salonika, " that garden of the Muses 
and the Graces," as one of the literary archbishops of the fourteenth 
century called it. The intellectual activity of the place led to intense 
theological discussion, and at this period the "Orthodox" city par 
excellence was agitated by the heresy of the " Hesychasts," or Quietists, 
who believed that complete repose would enable them to see a divine 
light flickering round their empty stomachs, while the so-called "Zealots," 
or friends of the people, with the cross as their banner, practised in 
Salonika the doctrines of Wat Tyler and Jack Cade in mediaeval England. 
The exploitation of the poor by the rich and the tax-collectors, and the 
example of the recent revolution at Genoa, caused this republican 
movement, which led to the massacre of the nobles in 1346 by hurling 
them from the castle walls into the midst of an armed mob below. The 
"Zealots," like the Iconoclast Emperors, have suffered from the fact 
that they have been described by their enemies, and notably by Canta- 
cuzene 1 , to whose aristocratic party they were opposed. Yet even an 
archbishop publicly advocated so drastic a measure as the suppression 
of some of the monasteries, in order to provide funds for the better 
defence of the city; nor was there anything very alarming in their 
preference for direct taxation. Thus, Salonika was from 1342 to 1349, 
under their auspices, practically an independent republic, till they 
succumbed to the allied forces of the aristocracy and the monks. 

Salonika, indeed, continued to have urgent need of its walls, which 
still remain, save where the Turks completely dismantled them on the 
sea side in 1866, a fine example of Byzantine fortification. Andronikos II 
strengthened them by the erection of a tower, which still bears his 
initials, in the dividing wall between the Akropolis and the rest of the 
city. Thanks to them it escaped pillage by the Catalan Grand Company 
at a time when they sheltered two Byzantine Empresses. Even during 
the greatest expansion of the Serbian empire under Stephen Dushan, 
Salonika alone remained a Greek islet in a Serbian Macedonia. But a far 
more serious foe than either Catalan or Serb was now at hand. The 
Turks entered Europe shortly after the middle of the fourteenth century, 



1 11. 234, 393, 568-82; Nikephoros Gregoras, n. 673-5, 74°. 795 •' Kydones, in 
Migne, Pair. Gr. cix. 649; Sathas, Mry/icia, iv. pp. viii-xxxvi. 



280 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

and advanced rapidly in the direction of Salonika. At least twice 1 
before the end of that century — in 1387 and from 1391 to 1403, when 
Suleyman handed it back — they occupied it, and at last the inhabitants 
came to the conclusion that, in the weak condition of the Greek empire, 
their sole chance of safety was to place themselves under the protection 
of a great maritime power. Accordingly, in 1423, pressed by famine and 
by continual Turkish attacks, the Greek notables sent a deputation to 
Venice offering their city to the republic, whether their sickly Despot 
Andronikos, son of the Emperor Manuel II, consented or no. The 
Venetians, we are told, "received the offer with gladness, and promised 
to protect, and nourish, and prosper the city and to transform it into 
a second Venice." The Despot, whose claims were settled by a solatium 
of 50,000 ducats, made way for a Venetian duke and a captain; for seven 
years Salonika was a Venetian colony 2 . 

The bargain proved unsatisfactory alike to the Venetians and the 
Greeks. Their brief occupation of Salonika cost the republic 700,000 
ducats — for, in 1426, in addition to the cost of administration and repairs 
to the walls, she agreed to pay a tribute to the Sultan. Nor was it 
popular with the natives, especially the notables, many of whom the 
government found it desirable to deport to the other Venetian colonies 
of Negroponte and Crete, or even to Venice itself, on the plea that there 
was not food for them at Salonika. Others left voluntarily for Con- 
stantinople to escape the "unbearable horrors" and the Venetian 
slavery. The Turkish peril was ever present, and when envoys solicited 
peace from the Sultan Murad II, he replied: " The city is my inheritance, 
and my grandfather Bayezid took it from the Greeks by his own right 
hand. So, if the Greeks were now its masters, they might reasonably 
accuse me of injustice. But ye being Latins and from Italy, what have 
ye to do with this part of the world? Go, if you like ; if not, I am coming 
quickly." And in 1430 he came. 

Two misfortunes preceded the fall of Salonika — the death of the 
beloved metropolitan, and an earthquake. There was only one man to 
defend every two or three bastions, and the Venetians, distrusting the 
inhabitants, placed a band of brigands between themselves and the 
Greeks, so that, even if the latter had desired to accept the liberal offers 
which Murad made them, they dared not do so. Chalkokondyles hints 



1 Miiller, Byz. Analekten in Sitzungsberichte der Wiener Akademie, ix. 394; 
Chalkokondyles, pp. 47, 174; Phrantzes, p. 47; Doukas, pp. 50, 199; Diplomatarium 
Veneto-Levantinum, 11. 291; Bufcwr/s, 1. 234. 

■ Doukas, p. 197; Phrantzes, pp. 64, 122; Chalkokondyles, p. 205; Sathas, 
Mfi^teta, I. 133-50. 



SALONIKA 281 

at treachery, and a versifying chronicler 1 makes the monks of the present 
Tsaoush-Monastir near the citadel urge the Sultan to cut the conduits 
from the mountain, which supplied the city with water, and ascribes to 
their treason their subsequent privileges. But even the wives of the 
Greek notables joined in the defence, until a move of the Venetian 
garrison towards the harbour led the Greeks to believe that they would 
be left to their fate. On March 29, the fourth day of the siege, a soldier 
scaled the walls at the place near the castle known as "The Triangle," 
and threw down the head of a Venetian as a sign that he was holding his 
ground. The defenders fled to the Samareia tower 2 on the beach — 
perhaps the famous " White Tower," or " the Tower of Blood" as it was 
called a century ago, which still stands there and which some attribute 
to the Venetian period, or at least to Venetian workmen — only to find 
it shut against them by the Venetians, who managed to escape by sea. 

In accordance with his promise, Murad allowed his men to sack the 
city, and great damage was inflicted on the churches in the search for 
treasure buried beneath the altars. The tomb of St Demetrios was 
ravaged, because of its rich ornaments and to obtain the healing ointment 
for which it was famous, while the relics of St Theodora were scattered, 
and with difficulty collected again. Seeing, however, the wonderful 
situation of Salonika, the Sultan ordered the sack to cease, and began 
to restore the houses to their owners, contenting himself with converting 
only two of the churches, those of the Virgin and of St John Baptist, 
into mosques. It is pleasant to note that George Brankovich, the Despot 
of Serbia and one of the richest princes of that day, ransomed many 
prisoners. Two or three years afterwards, however, the Sultan adopted 
severer measures towards the captured city. He took all the churches 
except four (including that of St Demetrios, which, as the tomb of 
Spantounes shows, was not converted into a mosque till after 1481), 
built a bath out of the materials of some of the others, and transported 
the Turks of Yenidje-Vardar to Salonika, which thus for 482 years 
became a Turkish city. Chalkokondyles 3 was not far wrong when he 
described its fall as "the greatest disaster that had yet befallen the 
Greeks." 

When, on St Demetrios' day, 1912, the victorious Greeks recovered 
Salonika, all those churches, sixteen in number, which had existed 
before the Turkish conquest were reconverted into Christian edifices; 

1 Sathas, Meo-atwvtK^ Bt^XioO^Kij, 1. 257. 

* Perhaps the name is a reminiscence of the bishop of Samaria, to whom Mount 
Athos belonged from 1206 to 1210: Innocent III, Epp. ix. 192. 

9 p. 235; Anagnostes; Phrantzes, pp. 90, 155; Doukas, pp. 199-201; Byz. 
Zeiischr. xxm. 148, 152; N. 'EXX. v. 369-91. 



282 FRANKISH AND VENETIAN GREECE 

and when I was there in 1914, it was curious to see the two dates, 1430 
and 1912, the former in black, the latter in gold, on the eikonostasis of 
the Divine Wisdom, the church which was perhaps founded before the 
more famous St Sophia of Constantinople. Almost the last acts of the 
Young Turks before they surrendered Salonika were to destroy not 
only the " Gate of Anna Palaiologina," but also the " New Gate," which 
bore the inscription recording the Turkish capture. 



IV. THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

i. THE ZACCARIA OF PHOOEA AND CHIOS 
(1275-1329) 

Genoa played a much less important part than Venice in the history 
of Greece. Unlike her great rival on the lagoons, she had no 
Byzantine traditions which attracted her towards the Near East, and it 
is not, therefore, surprising to find her appearing last of all the Italian 
Republics in the Levant. But, though she took no part in the Fourth 
Crusade, her sons, the Zaccaria and the Gattilusj, later on became petty 
sovereigns in the JEgean; the long administration of Chios by the 
Genoese society of the Giustiniani is one of the earliest examples of the 
government of a colonial dependency by a Chartered Company, and it 
was Genoa who gave to the principality of Achaia its last ruler in the 
person of Centurione Zaccaria. 

The earliest relations between Genoa and Byzantium are to be found 
in the treaty between the two in 1155 ; but it was not till a century later 
that the Ligurian Republic seriously entered into the field of Eastern 
politics. After the establishment of the Latin states in Greece, the 
Genoese, excluded from all share of the spoil, endeavoured to embarrass 
their more fortunate Venetian rivals by secretly urging on their country- 
man, the pirate Vetrano, against Corfu, and by instigating the bold 
Ligurian, Enrico Pescatore, against Crete — enterprises, however, which 
had no permanent effect. But the famous treaty of Nymphaeum, con- 
cluded between the Emperor Michael VIII and the Republic of Genoa in 
1261, first gave the latter a locus standi in the Levant. Never did a Latin 
Community make a better bargain with a Greek ruler, for all the 
advantages were on the side of Genoa. The Emperor gave her establish- 
ments and the right to keep consuls at Anaea, in Chios, and in Lesbos, 
both of which important islands had been assigned to the Latin Empire 
by the deed of partition, but had been recaptured by Michael's pre- 
decessor Vatatzes in 1225 *. He also granted her the city of Smyrna, 
promised free trade to Genoese merchants in all the ports of his 
dominions, and pledged himself to exclude the enemies of the Ligurian 
Commonwealth, in other words, the Venetians, from the Black Sea and 
all his harbours. All that he asked in return for these magnificent 
1 Nikephoros Gregoras, 1. 29; Miklosich und Miiller, Acta et Diplomata, 1. 125. 



284 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

concessions was an undertaking that Genoa would arm a squadron of 
fifty ships at his expense, if he asked for it. It was expressly stipulated 
that this armament should not be employed against Prince William of 
Achaia. Genoa performed her part of the bargain by sending a small fleet 
to aid the Emperor in the recovery of Constantinople from the Latins; 
but it arrived too late to be of any use. Still, Michael VIII took the will 
for the deed; he needed Genoese aid for his war against Venice; so he 
sent an embassy to ask for more galleys. The Genoese, heedless of papal 
thunders against this "unholy alliance," responded by raising a loan for 
the affairs of the Levant 1 ; and it was their fleet, allied with the Greeks, 
which sustained the defeat off the islet of Spetsopoulo, or Sette Pozzi, 
as the Italians called it 2 , at the mouth of the Gulf of Nauplia in 1263. 
But the Emperor soon found that his new allies were a source of danger 
rather than of strength; he banished the Genoese of Constantinople to 
Eregli on the Sea of Marmara, and made his peace with their Venetian 
rivals. In vain Genoa sent Benedetto Zaccaria to induce him to revoke 
his decree of expulsion; some years seem to have elapsed before he 
allowed the Genoese to return to Galata, and it was not till 1275 that the 
formal ratification of the treaty of Nymphaeum marked his complete 
return to his old policy 3 , and that Manuele and Benedetto Zaccaria 
became the recipients of his bounty. 

The Zaccaria were at this time one of the leading families of Genoa, 
whither they had emigrated from the little Ligurian town of Gavi some 
two centuries earlier. The grandfather of Manuele and Benedetto, who 
derived his territorial designation of "de Castro," from the district of 
Sta Maria di Castello, in which he resided, had held civic office in 1202 ; 
their father Fulcho had been one of the signatories of the treaty of 
Nymphaeum 4 . Three years before that event Benedetto had been 
captured by the Venetians in a battle off Tyre. Three years after it, he 
was sent as Genoese ambassador to Michael VIII and, though his 
mission was unsuccessful, the Emperor had the opportunity of appreci- 
ating his business-like qualities 5 . Early in 1275, the year when Genoa 
had returned to favour at the Imperial Court, the two brothers started 
from their native city upon the voyage to Constantinople, which was 
destined to bring them fame and fortune — to Manuele, the elder, the 

1 Atti della Society Ligure di Storia Patria, xvu. 227-9; xxvm. 791-809; 
Dandolo, Chronicon, apud Muratori, R.I.S. xn. 370. 

* Ibid. 371; M. da Canal, La Cronique des Veneciens, in Archivio Storico 
Italiano, vni. 488; Annates Januenses, apud Pertz, M.G.H. Script, xviii. 245. 

8 Atti, xxvm. 500-4. 

* Ogerii Panis Annates, apud Pertz, ibid. 119; Atti, xxvm. 805. 

* Recueil des Historiens des Croisades. Documents ArmSniens, 11. 747; Lanfranci 
Pignolli, etc. Annates, apud Pertz, ibid. 249. 



THE ZACCARIA OF PHOCvEA AND CHIOS 285 

grant of the alum-mines of Phocaea at the north of the Gulf of Smyrna, 
to Benedetto the hand of the Emperor's sister 1 . Phocaea at that time 
consisted of a single town, situated to the west of the alum-mountains ; 
but, later on, the encroachments of the Turks led its Latin lords to build 
on the sea-shore at the foot of the mountain a small fortress sufficient to 
shelter about fifty workmen, which, with the aid of their Greek neigh- 
bours, grew into the town of New Phocaea, or Foglia Nuova, as the 
Italians called it. The annual rent, which Manuele paid to the Emperor, 
was covered many times over by the profits of the mines. Alum was 
indispensable for dyeing, and Western ships homeward-bound were 
therefore accustomed to take a cargo of this useful product at Phocaea 2 . 
The only serious competition with the trade was that of the alum which 
came from the coasts of the Black Sea, and which was exported to 
Europe in Genoese bottoms. A man of business first and a patriot after- 
wards, Manuele persuaded the Emperor to ensure him a monopoly of 
the market by prohibiting this branch of the Euxine trade — a protective 
measure, which led to difficulties with Genoa. He was still actively 
engaged in business operations at Phocaea in 1287, but is described as 
dead in the spring of the following year 3 , after which date the alum- 
mines of Phocaea passed to his still more adventurous brother, Bene- 
detto. 

While Manuele had been accumulating riches at Phocaea, Benedetto 
had gained the reputation of being one of the most daring seamen, as 
well as one of the ablest negotiators, of his time. He was instrumental, 
as agent of Michael VIII, in stirring up the Sicilian Vespers and so 
frustrating the threatened attack of Charles I of Anjou upon the Greek 
Empire, and later in that year we find him proposing the marriage of 
Michael's son and the King of Aragon's daughter 4 . In the following years 
he was Genoese Admiral in the Pisan War, and led an expedition to 
Tunis; in 1288 he was sent to Tripoli with full powers to transact all the 
business of the Republic beyond the seas. After negotiating with both 
the claimants to the last of the Crusaders' Syrian states, he performed 
the more useful action of conveying the people of Tripoli to Cyprus, 
when, in the following year, that once famous city fell before the Sultan 

1 Pachymeres, 1. 420; 11. 558; Nikephoros Gregoras, i. 526; Sanudo, Istoria del 
Regno di Romania, apud Hopf, Chroniques grdco-romanes, 146; Atti, xxxi. ii. 37 n s ; 
M. Giustiniani, La Scio Sacra del rito Latino, 7. 

* Doukas, 161-2; Friar Jordanus, Mirabilia descripta (tr. H. Yule), 57. 

3 Genoese document of April 25, 1288, in Pandette Richeriane, fogliazzo n. 
fasc. 25, cp. Appendix. 

1 Sanudo, apud Hopf, op. cit. 133; Documents Armdniens, 11. 789; Carini, 
Ricordi del Vespro, n. 4; Ptolomaei Lucensis Historia Ecclesiastica, apud Muratori, 
R.J.S. xi. 1 186. 



286 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

of Egypt. In Cyprus he concluded with King Henry II a treaty, which 
gave so little satisfaction to the home government, that it was speedily 
cancelled. More successful was the commercial convention which he 
made with Leo III of Armenia, followed by a further agreement with 
that monarch's successor, Hethum II. But his rashness in capturing an 
Egyptian ship compelled the Republic to disown him, and in 1291 he 
sought employment under a new master, Sancho IV of Castile, as whose 
Admiral he defeated the Saracens off the coast of Morocco 1 . From Spain 
he betook himself to the court of Philip IV of France, to whom, with 
characteristic audacity, he submitted in 1296 a plan for the invasion of 
England 2 . During his absence in the West, however, war broke out 
between the Genoese and the Venetians, whose Admiral, Ruggiero 
Morosini, took Phocaea and seized the huge cauldrons which were used 
for the preparation of the alum 3 . But upon his return he speedily 
repaired the walls of the city, and ere long the alum-mines yielded more 
than ever. Nor was this his only source of revenue, for under his brother 
and himself Phocaea had become a name of terror to the Latin pirates 
of the Levant, upon whom the famous Tartarin of the Zaccaria cease- 
lessly preyed, and who lost their lives, or at least their eyes, if they fell 
into the hands of the redoubtable Genoese captains 4 . The sums thus 
gained Benedetto devoted in part to his favouiite project for the recovery 
of the Holy Land, for which he actually equipped several vessels with 
the aid of the ladies of his native city — a pious act that won them the 
praise of Pope Boniface VIII, who described him as his "old, familiar 
friend 5 ." This new crusade, indeed, came to nought, but such was the 
renown which he and his brother had acquired, that the Turks, by this 
time masters of the Asian coast, and occupants of the short-lived 
Genoese colony of Smyrna, were deterred from attacking Phocaea, not 
because of its natural strength but because of the warlike qualities of 
its Italian garrison. Conscious of their own valour and of the weakness 
of the Emperor Andronikos II, the Genoese colonists did not hesitate 
to ask him to entrust them with the defence of the neighbouring islands, 
if he were unable to defend that portion of his Empire himself. They only 

1 J. Aurie Annates Januenses, apud Pertz, op. cit. xvm. 307-8, 312, 315-8, 
322-4, 336-7, 340, 344; Documents Artndniens, 1. 745-54; 11. 795-6, 801-2, 827; 
Liber Jurium Reipublicce Genuensis, 11. 275; Notices et extraits des Manuscripts de la 
Bibliothlque du Roi, xi. 41-52. 

2 Mas Latrie, Histoire de Vile de Chypre, 11. 129. 

8 J. a Varagine Chronicon Genuense; F. Pipini Chronicon; and R. Caresini 
Continuatio, apud Muratori, R.I.S. ix. 56, 743 ; xn. 406. 

4 Sanudo, apud Hopf, op. cit. 146. 

* Raynaldi Annates Ecclesiastici (ed. 1749), iv. 319; Les Registres de Boniface 
VIII, in. 290-3. 



THE ZACCARIA OF PHOCAEA AND CHIOS 287 

stipulated that they should be allowed to defray the cost out of the local 
revenues, which would thus be expended on the spot, instead of being 
transmitted to Constantinople. Benedetto had good reason for making 
this offer; for Chios and Lesbos, once the seats of flourishing Genoese 
factories under the rule of the Greek Emperor and his father, had both 
suffered severely from the feeble policy of the central government and 
the attacks of corsairs. Twice, in 1292 and 1303, the troops first of Roger 
de Lluria and then of Roger de Flor had ravaged Mytilene and devastated 
the famous mastic-gardens of Chios — the only place in the world where 
that product was to be found, while a Turkish raid completed the 
destruction of that beautiful island 1 . 

Andronikos received Benedetto's proposal with favour, but as he 
delayed giving a definite decision, the energetic Genoese, like the man 
of action that he was, occupied Chios in 1304 on his own account. The 
Emperor, too much engaged with the Turkish peril to undertake the 
expulsion of this desperate intruder, wisely recognised accomplished 
facts, and agreed to let him have the island for ten years as a fief of the 
Empire, free of all tribute, on condition that he flew the Byzantine 
standard from the walls and promised to restore his conquest to his 
suzerain at the expiration of the lease 2 . Thus, in the fashion of Oriental 
diplomacy, both parties were satisfied: the Italian had gained the 
substance of power, while the Greek retained the shadow, and might 
salve his dignity with the reflexion that the real ruler of Chios hoisted 
his colours, owed him allegiance, and was a near kinsman of his own by 
marriage. 

This first Genoese occupation of Chios lasted only a quarter of a 
century; but even in that short time, under the firm and able rule of the 
Zaccaria, it recovered its former prosperity. Benedetto refortified the 
capital, restored the fallen buildings, heightened the walls, and deepened 
the ditch — significant proofs of his intention to stay. Entrusting 
Phocaea to the care of his nephew Tedisio, or Ticino, as his deputy, he 
devoted his attention to the revival of Chios, which at his death, in 1307, 
he bequeathed to his son, Paleologo, first-cousin of the reigning Emperor, 
while he left Phocaea to his half-brother, Nicolino, like himself a naval 
commander in the Genoese service. This division of the family pos- 
sessions led to difficulties. Nicolino arrived at Phocaea and demanded 
a full statement of account from his late brother's manager, Tedisio; 

1 Pachymeres, n. 436, 510, 558; Muntaner, Cronaca, ch. 117; Le Livre de la 
Conqueste, 362; I.ibro de los Fechos, 107; B. de Neocastro Historia Sicula, apud 
Muratori, R.I.S. xm. 1186. 

* Cantacuzene, I. 370; N. Gregoras, 1. 438. 



288 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

the latter consented, but the uncle and the nephew did not agree about 
the figures, and Nicolino withdrew, threatening to return with a larger 
force, to turn Tedisio out of his post, convey him to Genoa, and appoint 
another governor, Andriolo Cattaneo della Volta, a connexion of the 
family by marriage, in his place. Nicolino's son privately warned his 
cousin of his father's intentions, and advised him to quit Phocaea while 
there was still time. At this moment the Catalan Grand Company was 
at Gallipoli, and there Tedisio presented himself, begging the chronicler 
Muntaner to enroll him in its ranks. The Catalan, moved by his aristo- 
cratic antecedents and personal courage, consented, and soon the fugitive 
ex-governor, by glowing accounts of the riches of Phocaea, induced his 
new comrades to aid him in capturing the place from his successor. The 
Catalans were always ready for plunder, and the alum-city was said to 
contain " the richest treasures of the world." Accordingly, a flotilla was 
equipped, which arrived off Phocaea on the night of Easter 1307. Before 
daybreak next morning, the assailants had scaled the walls of the castle ; 
then they sacked the city, whose population of more than 3000 Greeks 
was employed in the alum-manufactory. The booty was immense, and 
not the least precious portion of it was a piece of the true Cross, encased 
in gold and studded with priceless jewels. This relic, said to have been 
brought by St John the Evangelist to Ephesus, captured by the Turks 
when they took that place, and pawned by them at Phocaea, fell to the 
lot of Muntaner 1 . This famous "Cross of the Zaccaria" would seem to 
have been restored to that family, and we may conjecture that it was 
presented to the cathedral of Genoa, where it now is, by the bastard son 
of the last Prince of the Morea 2 , when, in 1459, he begged the city of his 
ancestors to recommend him to the generosity of Pius II. Emboldened 
by this success, Tedisio, with the aid of the Catalans, conquered the 
island of Thasos from the Greeks and received his friend Muntaner and 
the Infant Ferdinand of Majorca in its castle with splendid hospitality. 
Six years later, however, the Byzantine forces recovered this island, 
whence the Zaccaria preyed upon Venetian merchantmen 3 , and it was 
not for more than a century that a Genoese lord once again held his 
court in the fortress of Tedisio Zaccaria. 

Meanwhile, Paleologo, in Chios, had continued the enlightened policy 
of his father, and reaped his reward in the renewed productiveness of 

1 Muntaner, op. cit. ch. 234; J. Aurie Annates, apud Pertz, M.G.H. xvm. 315; 
Atti, xxxi. ii. p. xxxvii. n 1 . 

* Atti, 1. 73-5; xi. 322; Giornale Ligustico di Archeologia, Storia e Belle Arti, v. 
361-2; B. Senaregae De Rebus Genuensibus Commentaria, apud Muratori, R.I.S. 
xxiv. 559. 

8 Muntaner, I.e.; Pachymeres, 11. 638; Giomo, Lettere di Collegio, p. 96. 



THE ZACCARIA OF PHOCEA AND CHIOS 289 

the mastic-plantations. In 1314, when the ten years' lease of the 
island expired, the strong fortifications, which his father had erected, 
and his near relationship to the Emperor procured him a renewal for 
five more years on the same terms 1 . He did not, however, long enjoy 
this further tenure, for in the same year he died, apparently without 
progeny. As his uncle, Nicolino, the lord of Phocaea and the next 
heir, was by this time also dead, the latter's sons, Martino and 
Benedetto II, succeeded their cousin as joint-rulers of Chios, while 
Phocaea passed beneath the direct control of Nicolino's former 
governor, Andriolo Cattaneo, always, of course, subject to the con- 
firmation of the Emperor. 

The two brothers, who had thus succeeded to Chios, possessed all the 
vigorous qualities of their race. One contemporary writer after another 
praises their services to Christendom, and describes the terror with which 
they filled the Turks. The Infidels, we are told, were afraid to approach 
within twelve miles of Chios, because of the Zaccaria, who always kept 
a thousand foot-soldiers, a hundred horsemen, and a couple of galleys 
ready for every emergency. Had it not been for the valour of the 
Genoese lords of Chios "neither man, nor woman, nor dog, nor cat, nor 
any five animal could have remained in any of the neighbouring islands." 
Not only were the brothers " the shield of defence of the Christians," but 
they did all they could to stop the infamous traffic in slaves, carried on 
by their fellow-countrymen, the Genoese of Alexandria, whose vessels 
passed Chios on the way from the Black Sea ports. Pope John XXII, who 
had already allowed Martino to export mastic to Alexandria in return 
for his services, was therefore urged to give the Zaccaria the maritime 
police of the Archipelago, so that this branch of the slave-trade might be 
completely cut off 2 . Sanudo 3 , with his accurate knowledge of the yEgean, 
remarked that the islands could not have resisted the Turks so long, had 
it not been for the Genoese rulers of Chios, Duke Nicolo I of Naxos, and 
the Holy House of the Hospital, established since 1309 in Rhodes, and 
estimated that the Zaccaria could furnish a galley for the recovery of 
the Holy Land. Martino was specially renowned for his exploits against 
the Turks. No man, it was said, had ever done braver deeds at sea than 
this defender of the Christians and implacable foe of the Paynim. In 
one year alone he captured 18 Turkish pirate ships, and at the end of his 

1 Cantacuzene, 1. 371. 

2 G. Adae De modo Sarracenos extirpandi, in Documents Armeniens, 11. 531-3, 
537. 54 2 » wno makes them "sons of Paleologo"; Jean XXII, Lettres Communes, 
v. 302. 

* Secreta Fidelium Cruris and Epistolce, apud Bongars, Gesta Dei per Francos, 
II. 30, 298. 

M. 19 



290 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

reign he had slain or taken more than 10,000 Turks 1 . The increased 
importance of Chios at this period is evidenced by the coins, which the 
two brothers minted for their use, sometimes with the diplomatic 
legend, "servants of the Emperor 2 ." Benedetto II was, however, 
eclipsed by the greater glories of Martino. By marriage the latter became 
baron of Damala and by purchase 3 lord of Chalandritza in the Pelopon- 
nese, and thus laid the foundations of his family's fortunes in the 
principality of Achaia. He was thereby brought into close relations with 
the official hierarchy of the Latin Orient, from which the Zaccaria, as 
Genoese traders, had hitherto been excluded. Accordingly, in 1325, 
Philip I of Taranto, who, in virtue of his marriage with Catherine of 
Valois, was titular Latin Emperor of Constantinople, bestowed upon 
him the islands of Lesbos, Samos, Kos, and Chios, which Baldwin II 
had reserved for himself and his successors in the treaty of Viterbo in 
1267, — a reservation repeated in 1294 — together with those of Ikaria, 
Tenedos, (Enoussa, and Marmara, and the high-sounding title of " King 
and Despot of Asia Minor," in return for his promise to furnish 500 
horsemen and six galleys a year whenever the "Emperor" came into 
his own 4 . The practical benefits of this magnificent diploma were small 
— for Martino already ruled in Chios, with which Samos and Kos seem 
to have been united under the sway of the Zaccaria, while the other 
places mentioned belonged either to the Greeks or the Turks, over whom 
the phantom Latin Emperor had no power whatever. Indeed, this 
investiture by the titular ruler of Constantinople must have annoyed 
its actual sovereign, who had not, however, dared to refuse the renewal 
of the lease of Chios, when it again expired in 13 19. 

But Martino had given hostages to fortune by his connexion with 
the Morea. His son, Bartolommeo, was captured by the Catalans of 
Athens in one of their campaigns, sent off to the custody of their 
patron, Frederick II of Sicily, and only released at the request of 
Pope John XXII in 13 18. As the husband of the young Marchioness 
of Boudonitza, he was mixed up also in the politics of Eubcea and 
the mainland opposite, while he is mentioned as joining the other 
members of his family in their attacks upon the Turks. 

1 Brocardus, Directorium ad passagium faciendum, in Documents Arminiens, n. 
457-8, makes Martino "nephew of the late Benedetto." 

* Schlumberger, Numismatique de VOrient latin, 413-5; Supplement, 16; PJs. 
XIV, XXI ; P. Lampros, No^ifo/tara tw a5e\<p<2v Maprlvov koU BeveSUrov B' Zax^pluf, 
Svrourrijjy rrjs Xlov, 1314— 1329, pp. 0— 13," ibid. M.e<rcuuviKa vofdfffiara ruv Svvaaruv rrjs 
Xlov, 6-1 1, PI. I; Promis, La Zecca di Scio, 34-6, PI. I. 

* Libro de los Fechos, 137. 

4 Minieri Riccio, Saggio di Codice dipiomatico. Supplemento, 11. 75-7, where the 
year "mcccxv" will not tally with ''Indictionis octavae" ( = 1325). Gittio (Lo 
Sctttro del Despota, 18) gives both correctly. 



THE ZACCARIA OF PHOCjEA AND CHIOS 291 

For a time Martino managed to preserve good relations with the 
Greek Empire. In 1324, the lease of Chios was again renewed, and in 
1327 Venice instructed her officials in the Levant to negotiate a league 
with him, the Greek Emperor, and the Knights against the common 
peril 1 . But by this time the dual system of government in the island had 
broken down : Martino's great successes had led him to desire the sole 
management of Chios, and he had accordingly ousted his brother from 
all share in the government and struck coins for the island with his own 
name alone, as he did for his barony of Damala 2 . His riches, had become 
such as to arouse the suspicions of the Imperial Government that he 
would not long be content to admit himself " the servant of the Emperor" ; 
the public dues of the island amounted to 120,000 gold pieces a year, 
while the Turks paid an annual tribute to its dreaded ruler, in order to 
escape his attacks. It happened that, in 1328, when the quinquennial 
lease had only another year to run and the usual negotiations for its 
renewal should have begun, that Andronikos III, a warlike and energetic 
prince, mounted the throne of Constantinople, and this conjunction of 
circumstances seemed to the national party in Chios peculiarly favourable 
to its reconquest. Accordingly, the leading Greek of the island, Leon 
Kalothetos, who was an intimate friend of the new sovereign's Prime 
Minister, John Cantacuzene, sought an interview with the latter's 
mother, whom he interested in his plans. She procured him an audience 
of the Emperor and of her son, and they both encouraged him with 
presents and promises to support the expedition which they were ready 
to undertake. An excuse for hostilities was easily found in the new 
fortress which Martino was then engaged in constructing without the 
consent of his suzerain. An ultimatum was therefore sent to him 
ordering him to desist from his building operations, and to come in 
person to Constantinople, if he wished to renew his lease. Martino, as 
might have been expected from his character, treated the ultimatum 
with contempt, and only hastened on his building. Benedetto, however, 
took the opportunity to lodge a complaint against his brother before the 
Emperor, claiming 60,000 gold pieces, the present annual amount of his 
half -share in the island, which he had inherited but of which the grasping 
Martino had deprived him. 

In the early autumn of 1329, Andronikos assembled a magnificent 
fleet of 105 vessels, including four galleys furnished by Duke Nicold I 

1 Raynaldi Annates Ecctesiastici, v. 95; Archivio Veneto, xx. 87, 89. 

8 Schlumberger, op. cit. 326, 415-6, Pis. XII-XIII; Promis, La Zecca di Scio, 
36-7, PI. I; P. Lampros, 'SofjUff/xara, 13-15; MeffaiwviKa vofjUffLutra, 12-14, PI. I; 
'AfiKdora fofxifffxara ko.1 /cto\i'/356/3oi>X\a twv Kara rovs lUgow aiwvat dwaaruu rifc'EXXa^os, 
31-2. 

19 — 2 



292 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

of Naxos, with the ostensible object of attacking the Turks but with the 
real intention of subduing the Genoese lord of Chios. Even at this 
eleventh hour the Emperoi would have been willing to leave him in 
possession of the rest of the island, merely placing an Imperial garrison 
in the new castle and insisting upon the regular payment of Benedetto's 
annuity. Martino, however, was in no mood for negotiations. He sank 
the three galleys which he had in the harbour, forbade his Greek subjects 
to wear arms under pain of death, and shut himself up with 800 men 
behind the walls, from which there floated defiantly the flag of the 
Zaccaria, instead of the customary Imperial standard. But, when he 
saw that his brother had handed over a neighbouring fort to the 
Emperor, and that no reliance could be placed upon his Greek subjects, 
he sent messengers begging for peace. Andronikos repulsed them, saying 
that the time for compromise was over, whereupon Martino surrendered. 
The Chians clamoured for his execution ; but Cantacuzene saved his life, 
and he was conveyed a prisoner to Constantinople, while his wife 
Jacqueline de la Roche, a connexion of the former ducal house of Athens, 
was allowed to go free with her family and all that they could carry. 
Martino's adherents were given their choice of leaving the island with 
their property, or of entering the Imperial service, and the majority 
chose the latter alternative. The nationalist leaders were rewarded for 
their devotion by gifts and honours ; the people were relieved from their 
oppressive public burdens. To Benedetto the Emperor offered the 
governorship of Chios with half the net revenues of the island as his 
salary — a generous offer which the Genoese rejected with scorn, asserting 
that nothing short of absolute sovereignty over it would satisfy him. 
If that were refused, he only asked for three galleys to carry him and his 
property to Galata. Andronikos treated him with remarkable forbear- 
ance, in order that public opinion might not accuse an Emperor of 
having been guilty of meanness, and, on the proposal of Cantacuzene, 
convened an assembly of Greeks and of the Latins who were then in the 
island — Genoese and Venetian traders, the Duke of Naxos, the recently 
appointed Roman Catholic bishop of Chios and some other Freres 
Precheurs who had arrived — in order that there might be impartial 
witnesses of his generosity. Even those of Benedetto's own race and 
creed regarded his obstinate refusal of the Imperial offer with dis- 
approbation ; nor would he even accept a palace and the rank of Senator 
at Constantinople with 20,000 gold pieces a year out of the revenues of 
Chios ; nothing but his three galleys could he be persuaded to take. His 
object was soon apparent. Upon his arrival at Galata, he chartered 
eight Genoese galleys, which he found lying there, and set out to re- 



THE ZACCARIA OF PHOGEA AND CHIOS 293 

conquer Chios — a task which he considered likely to be easy, as the 
Imperial fleet had by that time dispersed. The Chians, however, repulsed 
his men with considerable loss, the survivors weighed anchor on the 
morrow, and Benedetto II succumbed barely a week later to an attack 
of apoplexy, brought on by his rage and disappointment 1 . 

Martino, after eight years in captivity, was released by the inter- 
vention of Pope Benedict XII and Philip VI of France in 1337, and 
treated with favour by the Emperor, who "gave him a command in the 
army and other castles," as some compensation for his losses 2 . In 1343, 
Clement VI appointed him captain of the four papal galleys which 
formed part of the crusade for the capture of the former Genoese colony 
of Smyrna from Omar Beg of Aidin, the self-styled "Prince of the 
Morea 3 " — a post for which his special experience and local knowledge 
were a particular recommendation in the eyes of the Pope. Martino 
desired, however, to avail himself of this opportunity to reconquer 
Chios from the Greeks, and invited the Knights and the Cypriote 
detachment to join him in this venture, to which his friend, the Arch- 
bishop of Thebes, endeavoured to force the latter by threats of 
excommunication. The Pope saw, however, that this repetition on a 
smaller scale of the selfish policy of the Fourth Crusade would have the 
effect of alienating his Greek allies, and ordered the Latin Patriarch of 
Constantinople to forbid the attack 4 . Martino lived to see Smyrna taken 
in December, 1344, but on January 17, 1345, the rashness of the 
Patriarch, who insisted on holding mass in the old Metropolitan Church 
against the advice of the naval authorities, cost him his life. Omar 
assaulted the cathedral while service was still going on, Martino was 
slain, and his head presented to that redoubtable chieftain 5 . When, in 
the following year, the Genoese retook Chios, and founded their second 
long domination over it, his descendants did not profit by the conquest. 
But his second son, Centurione, retained his baronies in the Morea, of 
which the latter's grandson and namesake was the last reigning Prince. 

After the restoration of Greek rule in Chios and the appointment of 
Kalothetos as Imperial viceroy, Andronikos III had proceeded to 

1 Cantacuzene, 1. 370-91; N. Gregoras, 1. 438-9; Phrantzes, 38; Chalkokon- 
dyles, 521-2; Friar Jordanus, op cit. 57; Ludolphi De Itinere Terra Sanctcs, 23-4; 
Continuazione della Cronaca di Jacopo da Varagine, in Atti, x. 510; Brocardus, l.c.\ 
Archives de I'Orient latin, 1. 274. 

2 Benoit XII, Letlres closes, patentes et curiales, 1. 182-3; Ludolphi l.c. 

3 CUmeni VI, Lettres closes, patentes et curiales, 1. 150, 171, 182, 431-3. 

4 Raynaldi op. cit. vi. 342-3. 

6 Cantacuzene, 11. 582-3; Caresini op. cit.; Cortusii Patavini duo; G. Viilani, 
Historie Florentine, and Stellae Annates Genuenses, apud Muratori, R.I.S xn. 417, 
914; xiii. 918; xvii. 1081; Folieta, Clarorum Ligurum Elogia, 90. 



294 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

Phocaea. By this time the Genoese had abandoned the old city and had 
strongly fortified themselves in the new town, purchasing further 
security for their commercial operations by the payment of an annual 
tribute of 15,000 pieces of silver and a personal present of 10,000 more 
to Saru-Khan, the Turkish ruler of the district. The Emperor, having 
placated this personage with the usual Oriental arguments, set out for 
Foglia Nuova. Andriolo Cattaneo chanced to be absent at Genoa on 
business, and the Genoese garrison of 52 knights and 400 foot-soldiers 
was under the command of his uncle, Arrigo Tartaro. The latter wisely 
averted annexation by doing homage to the Emperor, and handed the 
keys of the newly constructed castle to his Varangian guard. After 
spending two nights in the fortress, in order to show that it was his, 
Andronikos magnanimously renewed the grant of the place to Andriolo 
during good pleasure. But Domenico Cattaneo, who succeeded his 
father not long afterwards with the assent of the Emperor, lost, in his 
attempt to obtain more, what he already had. 

Cattaneo, not content with the riches of Foglia Nuova, coveted the 
island of Lesbos, which had belonged for just over a century to the 
Greeks, and it seemed in 1333 as if an opportunity of seizing it had 
arisen. The increasing power of the Turks, who had by that time taken 
Nicaea and Brusa and greatly hindered Greek and Latin trade alike in 
the JEgean, led to a coalition against them; but, before attacking the 
common enemy, the Knights, Nicolo I of Naxos, and Cattaneo made a 
treacherous descent upon Lesbos, and seized the capital of the island. 
The crafty Genoese, supported by a number of galleys from his native 
city, managed, however, to outwit his weaker allies, and ousted them 
from all share in the conquered town, whither he transferred his residence 
from Foglia Nuova. Andronikos, after punishing the Genoese of Pera 
for this act of treachery on the part of their countrymen, set out to 
recover Lesbos. The slowness of the Emperor's movements, however, 
enabled Cattaneo to strengthen the garrison, and Andronikos, leaving 
one of his officers to besiege Lesbos, proceeded to invest Foglia with the 
aid of Saru-Khan, whose son with other young Turks had been captured 
and kept as a hostage by the Genoese garrison. The place, however, 
continued for long to resist the attacks of the allies, till at last Cattaneo's 
lieutenant prevailed upon them to raise the siege by restoring the 
prisoners to their parents and pledging himself to obtain the surrender 
of the city of Mytilene, which still held out, and which the Emperor, 
fearing troubles at home, had no time to take. Cattaneo, indeed, repu- 
diated this part of the arrangement, and bribery was needed to seduce 
the Latin mercenaries and thus leave him unsupported. From Lesbos 



THE ZACCARIA OF PHOOEA AND CHIOS 295 

he retired to Foglia, which the Emperor had consented to allow him to 
keep on the old terms; but four years later, while he was absent on a 
hunting party, the Greek inhabitants overpowered the small Italian 
garrison and proclaimed Andronikos IIP. Thus ended the first Genoese 
occupation of Phocaea and Lesbos — the harbinger of the much longer and 
more durable colonisation a few years later. Two gold coins, modelled 
on the Venetian ducats, of which the first of them is the earliest known 
counterfeit, have survived to preserve the memory of Andriolo and 
Domenico Cattaneo, and to testify to the riches of the Foglie under their 
rule 2 . 

APPENDIX 

DIGEST OF GENOESE DOCUMENTS 

22-24 Aug. 1285. Fourteen documents of these dates refer to the mer- 
cantile transactions of Benedetto and Manuele 
Zaccaria, such as their appointment of agents to 
receive their wares from " Fogia" and to send them to 
Genoa, Majorca, Syria, the Black Sea, and other places. 
(Pandette Richeriane, fogliazzo ii. fasc. 10.) 

17 April, 1287. "Benedetto Zaccaria in his own name and in that of his 
brother Manuele" gives a receipt at Genoa to "Per- 
civalis Spinula." 

{Ibid. fasc. 20.) 

24 Jan. 1287. "Nicolino" is mentioned as brother of Benedetto and 

Manuele Zaccaria. 

{Ibid, fogliazzo i. fasc. 178.) 

9 May, 1291. "Clarisia, wife of the late Manuele Zaccaria, in her own 

name and on behalf of her sons Tedisio, Leonardo, 
Odoardo and Manfred," appoints an agent for the sale 
of a female slave. 

{Ibid, fogliazzo ii. fasc. 27.) 

14 April, 1304. "Paleologo Zaccaria" is cited as witness to a monetary 
transaction. 

{Ibid, fogliazzo A. fasc. 7.) 

31 May, 131 1. Two documents executed at Genoa. In one Domenico 
Doria acknowledges receipt of monies from Andriolo 
Cattaneo, son of Andriolo; in the other Andriolo 
appoints Lanfranchino Doria and Luchino Cattaneo 
his agents. 

{Ibid. fasc. 7.) 

1 Doukas, 162-3; Cantacuzene, I. 388-90, 476-95; N. Gregoras, 1. 525-31, 
534-5, 553; Phrantzes, 38; Chalkokondyles, 521; Friar Jordanus, op. cit. 57. 
* P. Lampros, 'AviK&ora voplfffnaTa, 69-70, 72. 



296 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

1 3 Aug. 1313. " Manuel Bonaneus ' ' acknowledges receipt of monies from 
Andriolo Cattaneo. 

(Ibid. fasc. 13.) 

2i, 24 Sept. 1316. Mention of "the galley of Paleologo Zaccaria, which was 
at Pera in 1307." 

(Ibid. fasc. 13.) 



GENOESE COLONIES IN GREEK LANDS 

Lords of Phoc^ea (Foglia). 
Manuele Zaccaria. 1 ^75- 

Benedetto I „ 1288. 

[Tedisio „ governor. 1302-7.] 
Nicolino „ 1307. 

Andriolo Cattaneo della Volta, governor, 1307; lord, 1314. 
Domenico ,, „ ,, 1331-40. 

[Byzantine. 1340-6.] 
Genoese (with Chios). 1346—8. 



(a) Foglia Vecchia: — 
[Byzantine: 1348-58.] 
Genoese (with Chios): 1358-c 1402. 
Gattilusj, c. 1402-55 (December 24). 



(b) Foglia Nuova : — 

[Byzantine: 1348-51.] 
Genoese (with Chios): 1351-1455 
(Oct. 31). 



II. 



Both Turkish: 1455-1919; Greek (with Smyrna): 1919— 

Lords of Chios, Samos and Ikaria. 

[Latin Emperors: 1204-25; Greek Emperors: 1225-1304.] 
Benedetto I Zaccaria. 1304. 
Paleologo ,, 1307. 

Benedetto II ,, ~| 
Martino „ ) I ^~ 29 ' 

[Byzantine. 1329-46.] 



(a) Chios:— 

Genoese: 1346-1566. 
TTurkish: 1566-1694."] 

Venetian: 1694-5. 
l_Turkish: 1695-1912. J 



(b) Samos: — 

Genoese: 1346-1475. 

["Turkish: I475-I832.H 

Autonomous: 1832- 

L 1912 J 



1 

(c) Ikaria: — 

Genoese: 1346-62. 
Arangio: 1 362-1 481. 
"Knights of St John: 

1481-1521. 
Turkish: 1521-1694. 
Venetian: 1694-5. 
..Turkish: 1695-1912. 



III. 



All Greek: 191 2- 

Lords of Lesbos. 

[Latin Emperors: 1204-25; Greek Emperors: 1225-1333.] 
Domenico Cattaneo. 1333-6. 

[Byzantine. I336-55-] 
Francesco I Gattilusio. 1355. 
Francesco II „ J 384. 

[Nicol6 I of .flinos, regent. 1384-7.] 



THE ZACCARIA OF PHOCiEA AND CHIOS 297 

Jacopo Gattilusio. 1404. 

[Nicol6 I of iEnos again regent. 1404-9.] 
Dorino I Gattilusio: succeeded between March 13, 1426, and 
October 14, 1428. 

[Domenico „ regent 1449-55.] 
Domenico ,, 1455. 

Nicold II „ 1458-62. 

[Turkish: 1 462-1 91 2; Greek: 191 2- .] 

IV. Lords of Thasos. 

Tedisio Zaccaria. 1307-13. 

[Greek Emperors. 1313-c. 1434.] 
Dorino I Gattilusio. c. 1434 or ? c. 1419. 
? Jacopo Gattilusio. c. 1419. 

[Oberto de' Grimaldi, governor. 1434.J 
Francesco III Gattilusio. 1444-e. 1449. 
Dorino I ,, again, c. 1449. 

[Domenico, regent. 1449-55.] 
Domenico. 1455. (June 30-October.) 

[Turkish: 1455-6; Papal: 1456-9; Turkish: 1459-60; Demetrios 
Palaiologos: 1460-6; Venetian: 1466-79; Turkish: 1479-1912; 
Greek: 19 12- .] 

V. Lords of Lemnos. 

[Navigajosi, Gradenighi, Foscari: 1207-69; Greek Emperors: 

1269-1453.] 
Dorino I Gattilusio. 1453. (Castle of Kokkinos from 1440.) 

[Domenico, regent. 1453-5.] 
Domenico. 1455-6. 

[Nicol6 II, governor. 1455-6.] 

[Turkish: 1456; Papal: 1456-8; Turkish: 1459-60; Demetrios 

Palaiologos: 1460-4; Comnenos: 1464; Venetian: 1464-79; 

Turkish: 1479-1656; Venetian: 1656-7; Turkish (except for 

Russian occupation of 1770): 1657-1912; Greek: 1912- .] 

VI. Lords of Samothrace. 

[Latin Emperors: 1204-61; Greek Emperors: 1261-c. 1431.] 
Palamede Gattilusio. c. 1431. 

[Joannes Laskaris Rhyndakenos, governor: 1444-55.] 
Dorino II Gattilusio. 1455-6. 

[Turkish: 1456; Papal: 1456-9; Turkish: 1459-60; Demetrios 
Palaiologos: 1460-6; Venetian: 1466-79; Turkish: 1479-1912; 
Greek: 191 2- .] 

VII. Lords of Imbros. 

[Latin Emperors: 1204-61; Greek Emperors: 1261-1453.] 
Palamede Gattilusio. 1453. 

[Joannes Laskaris Rhyndakenos, governor.] 
Dorino II Gattilusio. 1455-6. 

[Turkish: 1456-60; Demetrios Palaiologos: 1460-6; Venetian: 
1466-70; Turkish: 1470-1912; Greek: 191 2-14; Turkish: 
1914-20; Greek: 1920- .] 






298 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

VIII. Lords of jEnos. 

Nicol6 I Gattilusio. c. 1384. 
Palamede „ 1409. 
Dorino II „ 1455-6. 

[Turkish: 1456-60; Demetrios Palaiologos: 1460-8; Turkish: 

1468-1912; Bulgarian: 191 2-3; Turkish: 1913-20; Greek: 

1920- .] 

IX. Smyrna. 

Genoese. 1261-tf. 1300. 

[Turkish, c. 1300-44.] 
Genoese. 1 344-1 402. 

[Mongol: 1402; Turkish, interrupted by risings of Kara-Djouneid: 
1402-24; continuously Turkish: 1424-1919; Greek ("under 
Turkish sovereignty ") : 1919- .] 

X. Famagosta. 

Genoese: 1374-1464. 

[Banca di San Giorgio: 1447-64; Lusignans: 1464-89; Venetian: 
1489-1571; Turkish: 1571-1878; British (under Turkish 
suzerainty): 1878-1914; British: 1914- .] 

2. THE GENOESE IN CHIOS (1346-1566) 

Of the Latin states which existed in Greek lands between the Latin 
conquest of Constantinople in 1204 and the fall of the Venetian Republic 
in 1797, there were four principal forms. Those states were either 
independent kingdoms, such as Cyprus; feudal principalities, of which 
that of Achaia is the best example; military outposts, like Rhodes; or 
colonies directly governed by the mother-country, of which Crete was 
the most conspicuous. But the Genoese administration of Chios differed 
from all the other Latin creations in the Levant. It was what we 
should call in modern parlance a Chartered Company, which on a 
smaller scale anticipated the career of the East India and the British 
South Africa Companies in our own history. 

The origins of the Latin colonization of Greece are usually to be 
found in places and circumstances where we should least expect to find 
them. The incident which led to this Genoese occupation of the most 
fertile island of the JEgean is to be sought in the history of the smallest 
of European principalities — that of Monaco, which in the first half of 
the fourteenth century already belonged to the noble Genoese family of 
Grimaldi, which still reigns over it. At that time the rock of Monaco 
and the picturesque village of Roquebrune (between Monte Carlo and 
Mentone) sheltered a number of Genoese nobles, fugitives from their 
native city, where one of those revolutions common in the mediaeval 
republics of Italy had placed the popular party in power. The proximity 



THE GENOESE IN CHIOS 299 

and the preparations of these exiles were a menace to Genoa, but the 
resources of the republican treasury were too much exhausted to equip 
a fleet against them at the cost of the state. Accordingly, an appeal was 
made to the patriotism of private citizens, whose expenses were to be 
ultimately refunded, and in the meanwhile guaranteed by the possession 
of any conquered territory. In response to this appeal, twenty-six 
of the people and three nobles of the popular party equipped that 
number of galleys, which were placed under the command of Simone 
Vignoso, himself one of the twenty-nine privateers. On April 24, 1346, 
the fleet set sail; and, at its approach, the outlawed nobles fled to 
Marseilles, whence many of them entered the French army and died 
four months later fighting at Crecy against our King Edward III. 

The immediate object for which the fleet had been fitted out had 
been thus accomplished. But it seemed to Vignoso a pity that it should 
not be employed, and the Near East offered a tempting field for its 
activities. The condition of south-eastern Europe in 1346 might perhaps 
be paralleled with its situation in later times. An ancient empire, 
which Gladstone described as "more wonderful than anything done by 
the Romans," enthroned on the Bosporos with one brief interval for ten 
centuries, was obviously crumbling away, and its ultimate dissolution 
was only a question of time. A lad of fourteen, John V Palaiologos, sat 
on the throne of the Caesars, while a woman and a foreigner, the Empress- 
mother Anne of Savoy, governed in his name. Against her and her son 
the too-powerful Grand Domestic (or, as we should say, prime minister), 
John Cantacuzene, whom posterity remembers rather as an historian 
than as an Emperor, had raised the standard of revolt. In Asia Minor 
Byzantium retained nothing but the suburb of Scutari, Philadelphia, 
and the two towns of Phocasa. Independent emirs ruled the south and 
centre, the Ottomans the north, whence in seven years they were to 
cross into Europe, in eight more to transfer their capital to Adrianople. 
Already the European provinces of Byzantium were cut short by the 
frontier of the Bulgarian Empire and still more by the rapid advance of 
Serbia, then the most powerful state in the Balkan peninsula. Seventeen 
days before Vignoso sailed for the East, the great Serbian conqueror and 
lawgiver, Stephen Dushan, one of the most remarkable figures in mediaeval 
history, was crowned at Skoplje "Emperor of the Serbs and Greeks" 
and had proposed to Genoa's rival, Venice, an alliance for the conquest 
of the Byzantine Empire. Greece proper, with the exception of the 
Byzantine province in the Morea, was parcelled out between Latin 
rulers, while Byzantium had no fleet to protect her outlying territories. 
Under these circumstances a commercial Italian republic might not 



300 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

unnaturally seek to peg out claims in the midst of the general confusion 
in the East, where only two years before Smyrna, formerly a Genoese 
colony, had been recaptured from the Turks. 

Vignoso's first intention was to protect the Genoese settlements on 
the Black Sea against the attacks of the Tartars; but information 
received at Negroponte, where he touched on the way, led him to change 
his plans. There he found a fleet of Venetian and Rhodian galleys, under 
the Dauphin of Vienne, preparing to occupy Chios as a naval base for 
operations against the Turks in Asia Minor. Vignoso and his associates 
were offered large sums for their co-operation, but their patriotism 
rejected the idea of handing over to the rival republic an island which had 
belonged to the Genoese family of Zaccaria from 1304 to 1329, and 
which as recently as seventeen years earlier had been recovered by the 
Greeks. They made all sail for Chios, and offered to assist the islanders 
against a Venetian attack, if they would hoist the Genoese flag and 
admit a small Genoese garrison. The scornful refusal of the garrison was 
followed by the landing of the Genoese; four days sufficed to take the 
rest of the island; but the citadel made such a spirited resistance that 
three months passed before food gave out and on September 12 the 
capitulation was signed. The governor, Kalojanni Cybo, himself of 
Genoese extraction, and a member of the well-known Ligurian family 
which afterwards produced Pope Innocent VIII, made excellent terms 
for himself and his relatives, while the Greeks were to enjoy their 
former religious liberties and endowments, their property, and their 
privileges. A Genoese governor was to be appointed to administer the 
island according to the laws of the Republic, and 200 houses in the citadel 
were assigned at once for the use of the Genoese garrison. Vignoso 
proved by his example that he meant to keep these promises. He 
ordered his own son to be flogged publicly for stealing grapes from a 
vineyard belonging to one of the natives, and bequeathed a sum of 
money for providing poor Chiote girls with dowries as compensation for 
any damage that he might have inflicted upon the islanders. 

Vignoso completed the conquest of Chios by the annexation of Old 
and New Phocam, or Foglia Vecchia and Nuova, as the Italians called 
them, almost the last Byzantine possessions on the coast of Asia Minor, 
and celebrated for their valuable alum-mines, whence English ships used 
to obtain materials for dyeing, and of the neighbouring islands of Psara, 
or Santa Panagia, Samos, Ikaria, and the (Enoussai 1 . All these places 

1 Jerosme Justinian, La Description et Histoire de I'Isle de Scios, ou Chios, 
part I. 19; part H. 166; Boschini, L'Arcipelago, pp. 72, 74; Piacenza, L'Egeo 
Redivivo, pp. 200, 216; Coronelli, Isola di Rodi, p. 360. To this occupation of Ikaria 
refers the ballad in Journal of Hellenic Studies, 1. 293-300. 



THE GENOESE IN CHIOS 301 

had belonged to the former Genoese lords of Chios, with whose fortunes 
they were now reunited. The two Foglie, with the exception of a brief 
Byzantine restoration, remained in Genoese hands till they were con- 
quered by the Turks in 1455; Foglia Vecchia, after about 1402, being 
administered by the Gattilusj of Lesbos, Foglia Nuova being leased to 
a member of the maona for life or a term of years. Samos and Psara 
were abandoned in 1475 from fear of corsairs, and their inhabitants 
removed to Chios, whilst the harbourless Ikaria, where pirates could not 
land, was in 1362 granted to the Genoese family of Arangio, which held 
it with the title of Count until 148 1. In that year it was ceded for 
greater security to the knights of Rhodes, and remained united with that 
island till it too was conquered by the Turks in 1522. Vignoso desired 
to add the rich island of Lesbos and the strategic island of Tenedos, 
which, as we have been lately reminded, commands the mouth of the 
Dardanelles, to his acquisitions. But his crews had had enough of 
fighting, and were so mutinous that he returned to Genoa 1 . 

The Genoese exchequer was unable to repay to Vignoso and his 
partners their expenses, amounting to 203,000 Genoese pounds (£79,170 
of our money) or 7000 for each of the twenty-nine galleys, the Genoese 
pound being then, according to Desimoni, worth 9 lire 75 centesimi. 
Accordingly, by an arrangement made on February 26, 1347, it was 
agreed that the Republic should liquidate this liability within twenty 
years and thereupon become the direct owner of the conquered places, 
which in the meanwhile were to be governed — and the civil and criminal 
administration conducted — in her name. The collection of taxes, 
however, and the monopoly of the mastic, which was the chief product 
of the island, were granted to the twenty-nine associates in the company, 
or mahona, as it was called. The origin of this word is uncertain. In 
modern Italian maona means a "lighter"; but those vessels of Turkish 
invention are not mentioned before 1500. On the other hand, we read 
of a maona, or madona (as it is there written), in connexion with a 
Genoese expedition to Ceuta in a document of 1236, and it has, there- 
fore, been suggested that maona is a Ligurian contraction of Madonna, 
and that such trading companies were under the protection of Our Lady, 
whose image was to be seen on the palace of the Giustiniani at Genoa. 
At any rate, the name was applied to other Genoese companies, to the 

1 G. Stellae Annates Genuenses, apud Muratori, Rer. Ital. Script., xvn. 1086- 
90; Uberti Folietae Histories Genuensis Libri xii (Genoa, 1585), fo. I37~8 V ; 3i3 v ; 
Ag. Giustiniani, Castigatissimi Annali delta eccelsa & Illustrissima Republi. di 
Genoa (Genoa, 1537), cxxxn v -iv v ; P. Interiano, Ristretto delle Historie Genovesi 
(Genoa, s.a.), fo. io7 v -8 v ; Documenti, apud Pagano, Delle Imprese e del Dominio 
dei Genovesi nella Grecia, pp. 261-70; Cantacuzene, 11. 583-4; Nikephoros Gregoras, 
11. 765-7; Chalkokondyles, p. 522. 



302 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

Old and New maona of Cyprus, founded in 1374 and 1403, and to the 
maona of Corsica, founded in 1378. Other derivations are from the 
Greek word /j,ovd<; ("unit"), the Genoese mobba ("union"), and the 
Arabic me-unet ("subsidy") 1 . 

This convention with the maonesi 2 was to be valid only as long as 
the popular party remained in power at Genoa. The Republic was to be 
represented in Chios by a podestd, selected annually out of a list of twenty 
Genoese democrats submitted in February by the Doge and his council 
to the maonesi ; from these twenty the maonesi were to choose four, and 
one of these four was then appointed podestd by the Doge and council. 
Should the first list of twenty be rejected by the maonesi, a second list 
was to be prepared by the home government. The podestd was to swear 
to govern according to the regulations of Genoa and the convention 
concluded by Vignoso with the Greeks. Twice a year he went on circuit 
through the island to hear the complaints of the natives, and no 
maonese was allowed to accompany him on those journeys. Another 
officer of the Republic was the castellano, or commander of the castle of 
Chios, likewise chosen annually, from a list of six names, submitted to 
the Duke and his council by the maonesi. This officer was bound to find 
security to the amount of 3000 Genoese pounds (£1170) for his im- 
portant charge. A podestd and castellano for Foglia Nuova and the 
castellano of Foglia Vecchia, who had the powers of a podestd, were 
appointed in the same way. These officials were responsible for their 
misdeeds to a board of examiners, and the podestd was assisted by six, 
afterwards twelve, councillors called gubernatores, elected by the maonesi 
or other nominees, in everything except his judicial work, where their 
co-operation was at his discretion. Salaries were not high ; those of the 
podestd of Chios and Foglia Nuova were only 1250 (or £560) and 600 
hyperpera (or £268 16s.) respectively; those of the three castellani 
ranged from 400 to 500 (or £179 4s. to £224). Out of these sums they 
had to keep and clothe a considerable retinue. Local officials called 
generically rettori, but familiarly known as codespotce ("joint lords") or 
prologerontes ("chief elders") in the eight northern, and as logariastai 
(or " calculators") in the four southern or mastic districts of Chios, were 
appointed by the podestd. 

The podestd had the right of coining money, provided that his coins 

1 Comte de Mas Latrie, Hisioire de I' lie de Chypre, 11. 366-70; Promis, La Zecca 
di Scio, 14 n 2 . Atti della Societa Ligure di Storia patria, xxxv. 52, 210; Rhodo- 
kanakes, 'IcumndMU — Xlos 1. 8-9, n. 15; J. Justinian, part 11. 143; Araldica e 
Diritto (Jan. 1915), p. 46. 

* Document, apud Pagano, pp. 271-85; Liber Iurium Reipublicee Genuensis, II. 
(Histories Patrice. Monumenta, ix), 558-72, 1498-1512. 



THE GENOESE IN CHIOS 303 

bore the effigy of the Doge of Genoa and the inscription " Dux Ianuen- 

sium Oonradus Rex" in memory of Conrad III, King of the Romans, 

who in 1 138 had conceded to the Republic the privilege of a mint on 

condition that her coins always bore his name 1 . This condition was not, 

however, always observed in the Chiote mint. The maonesi between 

1382 and 1415 coined base imitations of the Venetian zecchini, a practice 

likewise adopted by Francesco I Gattilusio of Lesbos, and by Stephen 

Urosh II of Servia, and which procured for the latter a place among the 

evil kings in the Paradiso 2 of Dante. From 1415 the name and figure of 

St Laurence, the patron saint of the cathedral at Genoa, and the initial 

or name of the Doge began to appear on the Chiote coins; during the 

Milanese domination of Genoa two Dukes of Milan, Filippo Maria 

Visconti and Galeazzo Maria Sforza, figured on the currency of the 

island, and two issued during the French protectorate of Genoa (1458- 

61) actually bear the kneeling figure of Charles VII 3 . Finally, from 1483 

small pieces bear the initials of the podestd. The financial affairs of the 

company were entrusted to two officials known as massarj, who were 

obliged to send in annual accounts to the Genoese Audit Office. Lastly, 

Chios was to be a free port for Genoese ships, which were to stop a day 

there on the voyage to Greece or between Greece and Syria, but no 

Genoese outlaws were to be harboured there. Thus, while the nominal 

suzerainty was vested in the home government, the real usufruct 

belonged to the company, especially as the former was never able to 

clear off its liabilities to the latter. 

The members of the maona soon began to tire of their bargain and 

to sell their shares. Vignoso died, most of his partners resided at Genoa, 

and only eleven years after the constitution of the original company the 

island was in the possession of eight associates, of whom one alone, 

Lanfranco Drizzacorne, had been a member of the old maona. These 

persons, being mainly absentees, had farmed out the revenues to another 

company, formed in 1349 f° r tne extraction of mastic, and consisting of 

twelve individuals under the direction of Pasquale Forneto and Giovanni 

Oliverio. Difficulties arose between the eight partners and their lessees; 

the Republic intervened, and, by the good offices of the Doge of Genoa, 

Simone Boccanegra, a fresh arrangement 4 was made on March 8, 1362. 

The island was farmed out for twelve years to the twelve persons above 

mentioned or their heirs, who collectively formed an "inn" (or albergo), 

and, abandoning their family names, called themselves both collectively 

1 Promis, p. 39. * xix. 140-1. 

8 Schlumberger, Nutnismatique de I' Orient latin, pp. 422 f. and Plate XIV, 19, 
25- 

4 Liber Iurium, 11. 714-20; Documenti, apud Pagano, 285-91. 



304 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

and individually the Giustiniani — a name assumed three years earlier 
by the members of the old maona, and perhaps derived from the palace 
where their office was. One of the twelve partners, Gabriele Adorno, 
alone declined to merge that illustrious name in a common designation. 
The members of this new maona were to enjoy the revenues of the island 
in equal shares; but the Republic reserved to herself the right of pur- 
chasing Chios before February 26, 1367, the date fixed by the previous 
arrangement for the liquidation of her original debt of 203,000 Genoese 
pounds; if that date were allowed to pass without such payment, the 
Republic could not exercise the right of purchase for three years more ; 
if no payment were made by February 26, 1374, that right would be 
forfeited altogether. No member of the new company could sell his 
twelfth or any fraction of it (for each twelfth was divided into three parts 
called caratti grossi and each of these three was subsequently subdivided 
into eight shares, making 288 caratti piccoli in all) to any of his partners, 
but, with the consent of the Doge, he might substitute a fresh partner 
in his place, provided always that the number of the partners remained 
twelve and that they belonged to the popular party at Genoa. The 
number was not, however, strictly maintained. Thus, while at first the 
partners were twelve, viz. Nicolo de Caneto, Giovanni Campi, Francesco 
Arangio, Nicold di S. Teodoro, Gabriele Adorno, Paolo Banca, Tommaso 
Longo, Andriolo Campi, Raffaelle di Forneto, Lucchino Negro, Pietro 
Oliverio, and Francesco Garibaldi, there was soon added a thirteenth in 
the person of Pietro di S. Teodoro, whose share, however, only con- 
sisted of two caratti grossi, or sixteen caratti piccoli, that is to say, two- 
thirds of the share of each of the other members. In the very next year 
some of the partners retired to Genoa, selling their shares, and thus two 
entire twelfths came into the possession of the same individual, Pietro 
Recanelli, who had succeeded Vignoso as the leading spirit of the 
company. Later on, the shares became subdivided to such an extent 
that at the date of the Turkish conquest more than 600 persons held 
fractions of them. The shareholders were entitled not only to their 
dividends but also to a proportionate share of the local offices, of which 
two or three were attached to each share, but no shareholder could hold 
the more important for two consecutive years. 

When the term for the purchase of the island by the Genoese 
Republic drew near, her treasury, exhausted by the war arising out of her 
quarrels with the Venetians in Cyprus, was unable to liquidate its debt 
to the company of 203,000 Genoese pounds, at that time (owing to the 
change in the value of the pound) equivalent to 152,250. Anxious not 
to forfeit her right of purchase, the Republic paid to the company 



THE GENOESE IN CHIOS 305 

collectively this sum, which she had first borrowed from the chief 
members of it in their individual capacity as bankers By this financial 
juggle she became possessed of Chios; but, in order to pay the interest 
on her new loan, she let the island for twenty years more to the maonesi, 
who were to deduct from its revenues the amount of the interest and 
remit the balance, calculated at 2000 gold florins, to the Genoese ex- 
chequer. Seven years' balance was to be paid in advance. But such was 
the financial distress of Genoa that the government in 1380 was obliged 
to mortgage this annual balance to the bank of St George for 100,000 
Genoese pounds. The company then came to the aid of the mother- 
country, and voluntarily offered to furnish a loan of 25,000 Genoese 
pounds. In return, the Republic, by a convention of June 28, 1385, 
renewed the lease of Chios, which would otherwise have expired in 1394, 
till 1418. Five years before the latter date it was again renewed, in 
return for a fresh loan of 18,000 Genoese pounds, till 1447 ; again, in 
1436, in consideration of a further loan of 25,000, it was prolonged till 
1476, when it was extended to 1507 and then till 1509. Then, at last, 
the Republic not only resolved to pay off the maonesi, but even raised 
the money for the purpose ; but the shareholders protested that 152,250 
Genoese pounds were no longer sufficient in view of the altered value of 
the pound (then worth only 3 lire 73 c.) and the large sums which they 
had advanced. Payment was accordingly postponed till 15 13, when it 
was decided to leave the island in the hands of the Giustiniani till 1542, 
with some modifications of their charter. In 1528, however, it was 
finally agreed to lease Chios to them in perpetuity, in return for an 
annual rent of 2500 Genoese pounds. At that time most of the share- 
holders were enrolled in the Golden Book of Genoa. 

Such were the arrangements between the company and the mother- 
country, arrangements which worked so well that in 220 years there 
was only one revolt against her, when Marshal Boucicault occupied 
Genoa for the King of France. Considering their contract thereby 
annulled, the Giustiniani deposed the podestd and on December 21, 1408, 
proclaimed their independence. Venice allowed them to buy provisions 
and arms; but in June, 1409, a Genoese force under CorradoDoria forced 
them to yield 1 . Let us now look at their relations with foreign powers. 
Of these, three were at one time or another a menace to their existence — 
the Greek Empire, Venice, and the Turks. Both Anne of Savoy 2 and 
Cantacuzene demanded the restoration of Chios from the Republic, 

1 Stella, op. cit. pp. 1217-20; Folieta, op. cit. fo. 531; Ag. Giustiniani. op. cit. 

CLXXII V . 

* Diplomatarium Veneto-Levantinum, 11. 4. 

M. 20 



306 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

which replied that no official orders had been given for its capture and 
the government could assume no responsibility for the acts of a private 
company, nor could it dislodge the latter without great expense; at 
some future date, however, when circumstances were more favourable, 
it would undoubtedly be possible to restore it to the Emperor. The latter 
was not satisfied with this reply, but bade the Genoese envoys, who were 
sent to pacify him, fix a definite date for the evacuation of Chios. It was 
then agreed between him and the Republic that themaonesi should retain 
the city of Chios, and enjoy its revenues, for ten years, on condition that 
they paid an annual tribute of 12,000 gold pieces to the Emperor, 
hoisted his flag, mentioned his name in their public prayers, and 
received their metropolitan from the church of Constantinople. The 
rest of the island, including the other forts, was to belong to the 
Emperor, and to be governed by an Imperial official, who was to decide 
all disputes between the Greeks, while those between a Greek and a 
Latin were to be referred to the two Byzantine and Genoese authorities 
sitting together. At the end of the ten years, calculated from Canta- 
cuzene's occupation of Constantinople, the Genoese were to evacuate 
Chios altogether. Vignoso and his co-partners, however, declined to be 
bound by an arrangement made between the Emperor and the Republic, 
whereupon Cybo attempted to restore Greek rule, and perished in the 
attempt. The two Foglie were, however, temporarily reoccupied 1 , but 
the Greek peril ceased when the Emperor John V Palaiologos in 1363 
granted Chios to Pietro Recanelli and his colleagues in return for an 
annual payment of 500 hyperpera (or £224) 2 . Eight years earlier the 
position of the maona had been strengthened by the same Emperor's gift 
of Lesbos as his sister's dowry to another Genoese, Francesco Gattilusio, 
whose family, as time went on, ruled also over Thasos, Lemnos, Samo- 
thrace, Imbros, and the town of ^nos on the mainland, in 1913 the 
Turkish frontier in Europe. In 1440 John VI renewed the charter of 1363. 
Venice was a more obstinate rival. The war which broke out between 
the two Republics in 1350 involved Chios, for a defeated Genoese 
squadron took refuge there. But Vignoso, with his usual energy, fitted 
out a flotilla, sailed to Negroponte, captured the castle of Karystos, 
ravaged Keos, and hung the keys of Chalkis as a trophy over the castle- 
gate of Chios — a humiliation avenged by the despatch of a Venetian 
squadron which carried off many of the islanders 3 . During the struggle 

1 Cantacuzene, in. 81-4; Nikephoros Gregoras, n. 842, 851. 

* Vlastos, XiaKa, 228-31. 

s G. Stella, p. 1091; Raphay ni Caresini Continuatio Chronicorum Andrece Dan- 
duli, apud Muratori, Rer. Ital. Script., XXX. 420-1 ; Sanudo, Vite de' Duchi di Venezia, 
ibid. xxn. 621-2; Matteo Villani, Istorie, ibid. xiv. 117-18. 



THE GENOESE IN CHIOS 307 

of the two Italian commonwealths for the possession of Tenedos 
(granted to Genoa by Andronikos IV in 1376), Foglia Vecchia was 
attacked and the suburbs of Chios laid in ashes. For a time the common 
danger from the Turks united the Venetians and the Genoese company; 
but in 1431-2 a Venetian fleet bombarded the town. The captain of the 
Venetian foot-soldiers, who bore the appropriate name of Scaramuccia, 
was killed while laying a mine, and the admiral, Mocenigo, contented 
himself with ravaging the mastic-gardens. On his return home he was 
condemned to ten months' imprisonment in the Pozzi, while his Genoese 
rival, Spinola, carried off the keys of Karystos to adorn the castle of 
Chios, where they were still visible in the sixteenth century 1 . 

There remained the most serious of all enemies — the Turks. Murad I, 
who died in 1389, had already levied tribute from Chios 2 ; Mohammed I 
in 1415 fixed this sum at 4000 gold ducats, while the lessee of Foglia 
Nuova paid 20,000 out of the profits of the alum mines. By this system 
of Danegeld the maonesi kept on fairly good terms with the Turks till 
the capture of Constantinople. The active part taken in its defence by 
one of the Giustiniani, whose name will ever be connected with that of 
the heroic Constantine XI, exasperated Mohammed II against Chios, 
whither the chalices and furniture from the Genoese churches of Pera 
were removed, and. many of the survivors fled for safety. An increase of 
the tribute to 6000 ducats was accepted 3 . But in 1455 the Turks sent 
two fleets to Chios under the pretext of collecting a debt for alum, 
alleged to have been supplied to the maona by Francesco Drapperio, 
former lessee of Foglia Nuova, and then established at Pera 4 . These 
expeditions cost the company Foglia Nuova, but it gained a further 
respite by the payment of a lump sum of 30,000 gold pieces and the 
increase of the annual tribute to 10,000 ducats. In vain it appealed to 
Genoa and to the Pope ; in vain on April 7, 1456, the Republic wrote to 
our King Henry VI 5 , then struggling against the Yorkists, for assistance, 
reminding him that there had been few wars against the infidels in which 
the most Christian Kings of England had not borne a great part of the toils 
and dangers. The extinction of the Lesbian principality of the Gattilusj 
in 1462, the taking of Caffa in 1475, the capture of the Venetian colony 
of Negroponte by the Turks in 1479, were signs of what was in store for 
Chios, now completely isolated. The maonesi in vain wrote to Genoa, 
threatening to abandon the island, if help were not forthcoming, and 

1 Atti della Societa Ligure di Storia p atria, xiii. 198; J. Justinian, part II. 165; 
J. Stellae Annates Ianuenses, in Rer. Ital. Script., xvn. 1307-8. 
8 Chalkokondyles, p. 519. 

* Atti, vi. 20, 353-4; xm. 222, 231, 260-2, 996-7; Doukas, p. 314. 

* Doukas, pp. 322-8. 5 Veneroso, Genio Ligure risvegliato, Prove, p. 30. 



308 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

offered to cede it to her altogether. " We cannot put our hands," so ran 
their letter, "on ioo ducats; we owe 10,000. The Genoese mercenaries 
sent us were very bad. Send us none from the district between Rapallo 
and Voltri, for they quarrel daily, steal by day and night, and pay too 
much attention to the Greek ladies," whose charms were the theme of 
every visitor to the island 1 . The only means of maintaining inde- 
pendence was to pay tribute punctually and to propitiate any persons 
who might be influential at the Porte, notably the French ambas- 
sadors, two of whom visited Chios in 1537 and 1550. Finally, in 1558 
Genoa disavowed all connexion with the island, and instructed her 
representative at Constantinople to repudiate her sovereignty over 
it 2 . 

Then came the final catastrophe. The company was no longer able 
to provide the annual tribute, which had risen to 14,000 gold pieces, and 
to give the usual presents, valued at 2000 ducats, of scarlet cloth to the 
Turkish viziers, "a race of men full of rapacity and avarice," as De 
Thou called them. It was accused of having betrayed the Turkish plans 
against Malta to the knights and thus helping to stultify the siege of 
that island in 1565 ; while the fugitive slaves who found refuge in Chios 
were a constant source of difficulties. One of them was the property 
of the grand vizier; the podestd, Vincenzo Giustiniani, called upon either 
to give him up or pay compensation, confided the latter to an emissary, 
who absconded with the money. Thereupon Piali Pasha, a Hungarian 
renegade in the Turkish service, appeared off Chios with a fleet of from 
80 to 300 sail on Easter Monday, April 15, 1566. The pasha told the 
Chiotes that he would not land, as he did not wish to disturb the Easter 
ceremonies. Next day he entered the harbour and demanded the 
tribute. After having landed and studied the strategic position, he 
invited the podestd and the twelve " governors " on board to confer with 
him, and clapped them into irons. On April 17, as an inscription 3 in the 
chief mosque, then a church, still tells us, he took the town, and the 
flag of St George with the red cross gave way to the crescent almost 
without resistance. 

The fall of Genoese rule was ennobled by the heroism of the bishop, 
Timoteo Giustiniani, who bade a renegade kill him rather than profane 
the mass, and by the martyrdom of eighteen boys, who died rather than 
embrace Islam — a scene depicted by Carlone in the chapel of the Ducal 

1 Atti, vii. part II. 94-6, 480-7; The Chronicles of Rabbi Joseph ben Joshua 
(transl. Bialloblotzky), p. 289. 

* Atti, xxviii. 761, 767. 

8 Annual of the Brit. School at Athens, xvi. (1909-10) 154-5; Xta*a XpoviKd 
(Athens, 1914), n. 127. 



THE GENOESE IN CHIOS 309 

Palace at Genoa 1 . The other boys between the ages of twelve and 
sixteen were enrolled in the corps of janissaries, while the leading maonesi 
were exiled to Caffa, whence some of them, thanks to the intervention 
of the French ambassador, returned to Chios or Genoa 2 . In vain they 
demanded from the home government compensation for the loss of their 
island. As late as 1805 their descendants were still trying to recover a 
sum of money, deposited with the bank of St George, and in 1815 the 
bank ceased to exist and with it the last faint hope of repayment. 
There were, however, some lucky exceptions to these misfortunes. Thus 
Vincenzo Negri Giustiniani, who was a child of two at the date of the 
Turkish conquest, came to Rome, was created by Pope Paul V in 1605 
first marquess of Bassano, and in 1610 built the Palazzo Giustiniani, 
now the seat of the Italian Freemasons and of the Prussian Historical 
Institute. Professor Kehr, the director of that body, informs me, how- 
ever, that there is no trace there of the Chiote inscription of 1522, which 
is said to have been removed thither 3 . On the other hand, although the 
Turks destroyed many churches, Chios still abounds with Latin monu- 
ments 4 , in which the arms of the Giustiniani — a castle of three towers, 
surmounted after 1413 by the imperial eagle granted by the Emperor 
Sigismund 5 — are conspicuous. It may be of interest to mention that 
when in 1912, an Italian attack upon Chios was contemplated, orders 
were issued to spare the historical monuments of Chios. That island, 
however, with the exception of a brief Venetian occupation in 1694-5, 
remained Turkish till November 24, 1912, when a Greek force landed and 
on the following day easily captured the capital, which thus, for the 
first time since 1346, passed from under foreign domination. 

We may now ask ourselves whether the rule of the company was 
successful. Financially, it certainly was. Even in its latter days, when 
heavy loans had been contracted with the bank of St George and the 
Turkish tribute was 14,000 gold ducats, a dividend of 2000 ducats was 
paid on each of the thirteen original shares; while in its best times the 
small caratto, originally worth some 30 Genoese pounds, was quoted at 
4930. Chios during the middle ages was one of the most frequented 
marts of the Levant, while the alum of Foglia Nuova (which, as long as 
that factory remained Genoese, covered the annual rent to Genoa) and 

1 Thuani Historiarum sui temporis Libri cxxxviii. (ed. 1620), 11. 368-70; Bosio, 
Dell' Istoria della Sacra Religione et ill"** Militia di San Giovanni Gierosolimitano, 
in- 757-9; Luccari, Copioso Risiretto degli Annali di Rausa, p. 147; A. Mauroceni 
Historia Veneta, p. 335 ; Rhodokanakes, facing 1. 359. 

2 Vlastos, Xtaici, 232-4. 

3 Ann. 0/ Brit. School at Athens, xvi. 146. 

4 F. W. Hasluck, ibid. pp. 137-84. 5 J. Justinian, part ni. 116-18 



310 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

the mastic of the island (in which a part of the Turkish tribute was paid) 
were two valuable sources of revenue. The production of mastic was 
carefully organised. The company leased to each hamlet a certain area 
of plantation, and the lessees once a year handed in a certain weight of 
mastic in proportion to the number of the trees. If it were a good year 
and the yield were greater, they received a fixed price per pound for the 
excess quantity delivered; but if they failed to deliver the stipulated 
amount, they had to pay twice that sum 1 . In order to keep up prices 
in years of over-production, all the mastic over a certain amount was 
either warehoused or burned. Special officials divided the net profit 
accruing from its sale among the shareholders; no private person might 
sell it to foreigners; and thefts or smuggling of the precious gum, if 
committed on a small scale, cost the delinquent an ear, his nose, or both ; 
if on a large scale, brought him to the gallows. Another curious source 
of revenue was the tax on widows 2 . The latter must have had ample 
opportunities of avoiding the penalty, for the courtesy and beauty of the 
Chiote ladies was the theme of every traveller. Indeed, one impression- 
able Frenchman 3 proclaimed Chios to be " the most agreeable residence " 
with which he was acquainted, while another visitor 4 declared their 
natural charm, the elegance of their attire, and the attraction of their 
gestures and conversation to be such "that they might rather be judged 
to be nymphs or goddesses than mortal women or maids." He then, 
greatly daring, attempts a detailed description of their costume, upon 
which I shall not venture. Nor were amusements lacking. The inhabi- 
tants were musical; they were wont to dance by the Skaramangkou 
torrent; the chief religious feasts were kept in state; and Cyriacus of 
Ancona 5 was a witness of the festivities which accompanied the carnival 
in what Bartolomeo dalli Sonetti 6 , another traveller of the fifteenth 
century, called the first island of the Archipelago. 

There was more intellectual life at Chios than in some of the Latin 
settlements in the Levant ; indeed, the two Genoese colonies of Chios and 
Lesbos stood higher in that respect than most of the Venetian factories. 
The list of authors during the period of the maona is considerable. 
Among them we may specially notice Leonardo Giustiniani, arch- 
bishop of Lesbos, but a native of Chios, and author of a curious treatise, 

1 P. Belon du Mans, Les observations de plusieurs singularitez et choses memor- 
ables (Paris, 1588), pp. 185-7; M. de Nicolay, I.es navigations, peregrinations et 
voyages, faicts en la Turquie (Antwerp, 1576), pp. 66-7. 

2 Ibid. p. 76. 

3 Belon, p. 186. * N. de Nicolay, p. 67. 

6 Targioni Tozzetti, Relazione di alcuni viaggi fatti in diverse parti delta Toscana 
(ed. 2), v. 436; J. Justinian, part 11. 71-7. 
6 Pp. 43-4- 



THE GENOESE IN CHIOS 311 

De vera nobilitate, intended as a reply to the book De nobilitate of the 
celebrated scholar, Poggio Bracciolini. But the chief value of the 
literary divine for us at the present day is the graphic account which he 
has left us in two letters, addressed respectively to Popes Nicholas V and 
Pius II, of the Turkish conquest of Constantinople in 1453 and of 
Lesbos in 1462 — accounts of the greatest historical interest, because their 
author was an eyewitness of what he described. In Gerolamo Garibaldi 
Giustiniani, born in Chios in 1544, the island found an historian, who 
wrote in French a work entitled La Description et Histoire de I'Isle de 
Scios, ou Chios; Vincenzo Banca Giustiniani, another Latin Chiote, 
edited the works of St Thomas Aquinas ; while Alessandro Rocca Giusti- 
niani translated portions of Aristotle and Hippocrates. But the most 
curious local literary figure of the period was Andriolo Banca Giustiniani 
(1385-1456), who sang in Italian verse the Venetian siege of Chios 1 of 
1431. The poet was a man of taste and had the means to satisfy it; he 
constructed near the so-called "School of Homer" (who, according to 
Thucydides, was a native of Chios) an "Homeric villa" in a forest of 
pines near a crystal well, where he was visited by the well-known 
antiquary and traveller, Cyriacus of Ancona, his frequent correspon- 
dent 2 . This elegant Chiote accumulated a library of 2000 manuscripts, 
and for him Ambrogio Traversari of Florence translated into Latin the 
treatise on the Immortality of the Soul by the fifth-century philosopher, 
iEneas of Gaza. His son, in 1474, entertained at his villa a greater even 
than the archaeologist of Ancona, then, however, only a modest ship's 
captain, the future discoverer of America, Christopher Columbus. The 
culture, however, of the Giustiniani seems to have been mainly Latin — 
a fact explained by their practice of sending their sons to be educated 
at Genoa, Pa via, Padua, or Bologna; and it was from Italy that they 
summoned the architects to build their palaces "of divers kinds of 
marbles, with great porticoes and magnificent galleries," and their 
villas, of which there were more than 100 in the last century of their rule. 
It was only just before the Turkish conquest that they thought of founding 
a university 3 . 

But we must also look at the picture from another point of view — 
that of the governed. The judgment of Finlay that the rule of the 
company was "the least oppressive government in the Levant" seems 
by the light of later research to need qualification. If we are to take as 
our standard the happiness of the people as a whole, then of all the Latin 

1 Published by G. Porro-Lambertenghi in Miscellanea di Storia Halt ana, vn. 
541-8. 

2 Tozzetti, v. 454. 8 Thevet in Ann. of Brit. School at Athens, xvi. 183-4. 



312 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

establishments in the Levant Lesbos comes first. But for that there 
were special reasons. The first Gattilusio came to Lesbos not as a foreign 
conqueror, but as brother-in-law of the Greek Emperor; he soon spoke 
the language of his subjects; his successors wrote in Greek, and as time 
went on the family became hellenized. But a company is apt to be 
deficient on the human side; and this would seem to have been the weak 
point of the maona. Quite early in its career a conspiracy of the Greeks 
was discovered, which led to the permanent expulsion of the metro- 
politan and the substitution in his place of a vicar, called Ai'yeato? (or 
"the Just"), elected by the company and confirmed by the patriarch. 
Moreover, the dominant church, whose bishops were usually Palla- 
vicini or Giustiniani, was partly supported by tithes, which the members 
of the other creed had also to pay, and which they paid so reluctantly 
that in 1480 the bishop was glad to abandon all claims to tithe and all 
the church property to the company 1 in return for a fixed stipend. 
Moreover, we are told that certain Latins seized property belonging 
to Nea Movr), "one of the most beautiful churches of the Archi- 
pelago," as it was called 2 . To these ecclesiastical disadvantages was 
added social inferiority. The native nobles, or archontes, sixty in number, 
although their privileges had been guaranteed at the conquest and 
although instructions were subsequently given to see that that pledge 
was respected, ranked not only below the Giustiniani, who formed the 
apex of the social scale, but below the Genoese bourgeoisie also, from 
which they suffered most. They lived apart in the old town (much as 
the catholics still do at Syra) ; and if they sold their property and left 
the island, they forfeited to the company one-quarter of the proceeds of 
such sale. 

Worse still was the position of the Greek peasantry, who were 
practically serfs, forbidden to emigrate without permission and pass- 
ports. Liable to perform military service even out of the island, they 
had to undertake in time of peace various forced labours, of which the 
lightest was to act as beaters once a year for their masters during the 
partridge season. So many of them sought to escape from Chios that a 
local shibboleth was invented for their identification, and they were 
obliged to pronounce the word fragela (a sort of white bread), which 
became frangela in the mouth of a native. Still, the Greeks were con- 
sulted at least formally before a new tax was imposed; a Greek noble 

1 J. Justinian, part 1. 34-7; M. Giustiniani, La Scio Sacra del Rito Latino, pp. 
15-16, 78-88; E. Alexandrides in Xicutd Xpow/ca (Athens, 1911). L 10-17; 
Miklosich und Miiller, Acta et Diplomata Grceca Medii Mvi, 11. 90-2. 

8 Miklosich und Miiller, in. 260-4; A #*» xxvni. 563-8; J. Justinian, part II. 
82. 



THE GENOESE IN CHIOS 313 

sat in the commercial court and on the commission of public works, and 
during the administration of Marshal Boucicault in 1409 and down to 
1417 four out of the six councillors who assisted the podestd were Greeks. 
In later times when there was a Turkish element in the population — for 
after 1484 the Turks paid no dues — the company provided the salary 
of the Turkish kadi. Cases were tried in a palace known as the A iKcuoraro 
("Most Just"), and a "column of justice" hard by served for the 
punishment of the guilty. A great hardship was the cost of appeals to 
the ducal council in Genoa — the counterpart of our judicial committee 
of the privy council. Worst treated of all classes were the Jews, forced to 
wear a yellow bonnet, to live in their ghetto, which was hermetically 
closed at Easter, to present a white banner with the red cross of St 
George to the podestd once a year, and to make sport for the Genoese 
at religious festivals 1 . Such, briefly, was the Genoese administration of 
Chios — an episode which may serve to remind us how very modern in 
some ways were the methods of Italian mediaeval commonwealths. 



3. THE GATTILUSJ OF LESBOS (1355-1462) 

Me clara Caesar donat Lesbo ac Mytilene, 
Caesar, qui Graio praesidet imperio. 

Corsi apud Folieta. 

The Genoese occupation of Chios, Lesbos, and Phocaea by the 
families of Zaccaria and Cattaneo was not forgotten in the counting- 
houses of the Ligurian Republic. In 1346, two years after the capture 
of Smyrna, Chios once more passed under Genoese control, the two 
Foglie followed suit, and in 1355 the strife between John Cantacuzene 
and John V Palaiologos for the throne of Byzantium enabled a daring 
Genoese, Francesco Gattilusio, to found a dynasty in Lesbos, which 
gradually extended its branches to the islands of the Thracian sea and 
to the city of ^Enos on the opposite mainland, and which lasted in the 
original seat for more than a century. 

Disappointed in a previous attempt to recover his rights, the young 
Emperor John V was at this time living in retirement on the island of 
Tenedos, then a portion of the Greek Empire and from its position at 
the mouth of the Dardanelles both an excellent post of observation and 
a good base for a descent upon Constantinople. During his sojourn 
there, a couple of Genoese galleys arrived, commanded by Francesco 
Gattilusio, a wealthy freebooter, who had sailed from his native city 

1 J. Justinian, part 1. 31-3; part n. 170-1; Thevet in Ann of Brit. School at 
Athens, xvi. 183 



314 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

to carve out for himself, amidst the confusion of the Orient, a petty 
principality in the Thracian Chersonese, as others of his compatriots 
had twice done in Chios, as the Venetian nobles had done in the Archi- 
pelago 150 years earlier. The Emperor found in this chance visitor an 
instrument to effect his own restoration; the two men came to terms, 
and John V promised, that if Gattilusio would help him to recover his 
throne, he would bestow upon him the hand of his sister Maria — an 
honour similar to that conferred by Michael VIII upon Benedetto 
Zaccaria. 

The family of Gattilusio, which thus entered the charmed circle of 
Byzantine royalty, had already for two centuries occupied a prominent 
position at Genoa. One of the name is mentioned as a member of the 
Great Council in 1157; a second is found holding civic office in 12 12 and 
1214; and two others were signatories of the treaty of Nymphaeum. 
Luchetto, grandfather of the first lord of Lesbos, was both a troubadour 
and a man of affairs, who went as envoy to Pope Boniface VIII to 
negotiate peace between his native city and Venice, served as podesta 
of Bologna, Milan, Savona, and Cremona; and founded in 1295 the 
family church of San Giacomo at Sestri Ponente in memory of his father 
— a foundation which remained in the possession of the Gattilusj till 
1483, and of which the Lesbian branch continued to be patron. Towards 
the end of the thirteenth century, the family seems to have turned its 
attention to the Levant trade, for a Gattilusio was among the Genoese 
who had sustained damage from the subjects of the Greek Emperor at 
that period, and by 1341 another member of the clan was a resident at 
Pera. In that year Oberto Gattilusio was one of the Genoese ambassa- 
dors, who concluded the treaty between the Republic and the Regent 
Anne of Savoy at Constantinople, and ten years later the same personage 
was sent on an important mission to all the Genoese commercial settle- 
ments in the East The future ruler of Lesbos was this man's nephew 1 . 

The Genoese of Galata had good reasons to be dissatisfied w r ith the 

commercial and naval policy of Cantacuzene, and it was no less their 

interest than that of their ambitious fellow-countryman to see John V 

replaced on the throne of his ancestors. They accordingly entered into 

negotiations with him at Tenedos, and thus Gattilusio could rely upon 

the co-operation of his compatriots at the capital. On a dark and windy 

night in the late autumn of 1354 he arrived with the young Emperor 

off the " postern of the Pathfinding Virgin," where his Ligurian mother- 

1 Atti della Societa Ligure di Storia pairia, I. 296; 11. 1, 396; xi. 343; XVII. 
241-51; xxviii. 522, 543, 545-50, 805-6; xxxiv. 157, 253, 268, 322, 326, 345; Les 
Regislres de Boniface VIII, 1. 222-3; Giornale Ligustico di Archeologia, Storia e Belle 
Arti, 1. 218; ix. 3-13. 



THE GATTILUSJ OF LESBOS 315 

wit at once suggested a device for obtaining admittance. He had on 
board a number of oil-jars, which he had brought full from Italy — for 
he combined business with politics — but which were by this time empty. 
These he ordered the sailors to hurl against the walls one at a time, 
until the noise awoke the sleeping sentinels. To the summons of the 
latter voices shouted from the galleys, that they were merchantmen 
with a cargo of oil, that one of their ships had been wrecked, and that 
they were willing to share the remains of the cargo with anyone who 
would help them in their present distress. At this appeal to their love 
of gain the guards opened the gate, whereupon some 500 of the con- 
spirators entered, slew the sentries on the adjoining tower, and were 
speedily reinforced by the rest of the ships' crews and marines. 
Francesco, who was throughout the soul of the undertaking, mounted 
a tower in which he placed the young Emperor with a strong guard of 
Italians and Greeks, and then ran along the wall with a body of soldiers, 
shouting aloud: "long live the Emperor John Palaiologos ! " When dawn 
broke and the populace realised that their young sovereign was within 
the walls, their demonstrations convinced Cantacuzene that resistance 
would be sanguinary, even if successful. He therefore relinquished the 
diadem which he could not retain, and retired into a monastery, while 
John V, accompanied by Francesco and the rest of the Italians, marched 
in triumph into the palace. The restored Emperor was as good as his 
word; he bestowed the hand of his sister upon his benefactor, and gave 
to Francesco as her dowry the island of Lesbos. On July 17, 1355, 
Francesco I began his reign 1 . 

Connected by marriage with the Greek Imperial house, the Genoese 
lord of Lesbos seems to have met with no resistance from his Greek 
subjects, who would naturally regard him not so much in the light of 
an alien conqueror as in that of a lawful ruler by the grace of the 
Emperor. He soon learnt to speak their language 2 , and continued to 
assist his Greek brother-in-law with advice and personal service. At 
the moment of his accession, the Greek Empire was menaced by the 
Turks, who had lately crossed over into Europe, and occupied Gallipoli, 
and by Matthew Cantacuzene, the eldest son of the deposed Emperor. 
In the very next year the capture of the Sultan Orkhan's son, Halil, 

1 Doukas, 40-3, 46; Nikephoros Gregoras, ill. 554; Chalkokondyles, 520; 
Kritoboulos: lib. II. c. 13; N&>y 'EXK^o/jw-q/iuv, VI. 39; M. Villani, Istorie, 
and G. Stellae Annates Genuenses, apud Muratori, R.I S., xiv. 447; xvn. 1094; 
Pii II Commentarii, 245; Ag. Giustiniano, Annali delta Repubblica di Genova (ed. 
1854), 11. 95; P. Bizari Senatus populique Genuensis... historic, 134; U. Folietae 
Histories Genuensium libri XII (ed. 1585), 141-2; Clarorum Ligurum Elogia (ed. 

1573). 97-8- 

2 Servion, Gestez et chroniques de la Mayson de Savoye, 11. 138-9. 



316 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

by Greek pirates from Foglia Vecchia, at that time a Byzantine fief, 
enabled John V to divide these two enemies by promising to obtain 
the release of the Sultan's son. The promise proved, indeed, to be 
hard of fulfilment, for John Kalothetos, the Greek governor of Foglia 
Vecchia, resisted the joint attacks of the Emperor and a Turkish chief, 
whom John V had summoned to aid him, until he received a large 
ransom and a high-sounding title. It was during these operations, in 
the spring of 1357, tna -t the Emperor, on the advice of Francesco 
Gattilusio, treacherously invited his Turkish ally to visit him on an islet 
off Foglia and then arrested him 1 . Such reliance, indeed, did John place 
in his brother-in-law, whose interests coincided with his own, that, 
when Matthew Cantacuzene was captured by the Serbs and handed over 
to the Emperor, the latter sent the children of his rival to Lesbos, and 
even meditated sending thither Matthew himself, because he knew that 
they would be in safe keeping 2 . In 1366, when the Bulgarian Tsar, 
John Shishman, had treacherously arrested John V, and the Greeks of 
Byzantium, hard pressed by the Turks, sought the help of the chivalrous 
Conte verde, Amedeo VI of Savoy, Francesco Gattilusio was present 
with one of his nephews at the siege and capture of Gallipoli from the 
Ottomans and assisted at the taking of Mesembria from the Bulgarians 3 . 
But fear of Murad I made him refuse to see or speak to his wife's nephew, 
Manuel, when the latter, after plotting against the Sultan, sought refuge 
in Lesbos 4 . 

Meanwhile, as a Genoese, he naturally had difficulties with the 
Venetians. Thus, we find him capturing 5 in the ^Egean a Venetian 
colonist from Negroponte, and quite early in his reign he imitated the 
bad example of his predecessor, Domenico Cattaneo, and coined gold 
pieces in exact counterfeit of the Venetian ducat, although of different 
weight. This was so serious an offence, that the Venetian Government 
made a formal complaint at Genoa, and in 1357 the Doge of his native 
city wrote to Francesco 6 bidding him discontinue this dishonest practice, 
which augured badly for the future of his administration, and would 
entail severe penalties upon him, if he insisted in its continuance. 
Francesco felt himself strong enough to go on his way, heedless of the 
ducal thunders alike of Genoa and of Venice, and coins of himself and 
of at least four out of his five successors have been preserved. The great 
war, which broke out between the two Republics in 1377 on account of 

1 M. Villani, Istorie, apud Muratori, R.I.S., xiv. 447. 

2 N. Gregoras, in. 503-4, 565. s Servion, op. cit. 11. 138-9, 143. 

4 Phrantzes, 48. 8 Misti, xxvm. f. 73 (Doc. of Sept. 20, 1358). 

6 Predelli, J Libri Commemoriali della Repubblica di Venezia, II. 266; Giornale 
Ligustico, 1. 84-5. 



THE GATTILUSJ OF LESBOS 317 

the cession of Tenedos by the usurper Andronikos to Genoa and its 
seizure by Venice, must have placed Francesco in a difficult position. 
He was, it is true, a Genoese but he was also brother-in-law of John V, 
whom Andronikos had deposed and who had promised the disputed 
island, which he and Francesco knew so well, to Venice. Accordingly, 
when the treaty of Turin imposed upon Venice the surrender of Tenedos 
to Amedeo VI of Savoy, who was to raze the castle to the ground at the 
cost of Genoa, yet the islanders none the less swore that they would 
retain their independence. Muazzo, the Venetian governor, excused his 
action in refusing to give up the island by pleading Francesco's intrigues. 
An agent of the Lesbian lord, he wrote, one Raffaele of Quarto, had 
stirred up the inhabitants, some 4000 in number, to resist the cession, 
by spreading a rumour that, if Tenedos fell into Genoese hands, the 
Venetian colonists would all be forced to turn Jews or emigrate 1 . When, 
however, Venice found herself reluctantly compelled to force her 
recalcitrant officer to carry out the provisions of the treaty, Francesco 
helped to victual the Venetian fleet, and Tenedos was reduced to be the 
desert that it long remained. 

While such were his relations with the Byzantine Empire and the 
rival Republics of the West, the Papacy regarded Francesco as one of 
the factors in the Union of the Churches and thereby as a champion of 
Christendom against the Turks. When Innocent VI in 1356, despatched 
St Peter Thomas and another bishop to compass the Union of the Old 
and the New Rome, he recommended his two envoys to the lord of 
Lesbos. Thirteen years later, Francesco accompanied his brother-in- 
law, the Emperor John V, to Rome, and signed as one of the witnesses 
of that formal confession of the Catholic faith, which the sorely-pressed 
sovereign made on October 18, 1369, in the palace of the Holy Ghost 
before Urban V 2 . He was one of the potentates summoned by Gregory 
XI in 1372 to attend the Congress 3 of Thebes on October 1, 1373, to 
consider the Turkish peril — a peril which at that time specially menaced 
his island — and in the following year the Pope recommended Smyrna 
to his care, and sent two theologians to convince him, a strenuous fighter 
against the Turks, and defender of Christendom beyond the seas, that 
the Union of the Churches would be a better defence against them than 

1 Predelli, op. cit. in. 156 (Documents of Jan. 11, 14, 1382). 

a Raynaldi Annales ecclesiastici (ed. 1752), vn. 19, 172; Innocentii VI 
Epistolae secretae, iv. f. 164 (Reg. Vat. 238). Neo's "EKk-qvoixvrinwv, xn. 474-5. 

8 Raynaldi op. cit. 224. The invitation to Francesco, otherwise practically 
identical with that to John V, contains the important variant, that the Turkish 
race "tam potenter tamque fortiter terram tuam...ohsidet." Gregorii XI Secret, 
Anno n. ff. 85-6 (Reg. Vat. 268). Jauna, Histoire ginerale des roiaumes de Chypre... 
etc. 11. 882. 



318 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

armed force 1 . The Popes might well have thought that no one could be 
a better instrument of their favourite plan than this Catholic brother-in- 
law of the Greek Emperor. But the astute Genoese was too wise to 
compel his Greek subjects to accept his creed. Throughout his reign, 
besides a Roman Catholic Archbishop, there was a Greek Metropolitan 
of Mytilene, and under his successor the Metropolitan throne of Methymna 
was also occupied 2 . The Armenian colony, settled in Lesbos, preferred, 
however, to seek shelter in Kos under the Knights of St John rather than 
remain as his subjects, without proper protection from a hostile raid 3 . 

The success of their kinsman encouraged other members of the 
Gattilusio clan to seek a comfortable seigneurie in the Levant. The 
barony of JEnos, at the mouth of the Maritza, had been assigned in the 
partition of the Byzantine Empire to the Crusaders, and, although re- 
conquered by the Greeks, the exiled Latin Emperor Baldwin II had 
been pleased to consider it as still his to bestow, together with the titular 
kingdom of Salonika, upon Hugues, Duke of Burgundy, in 1266. 
Besieged by Bulgarians and Tartars in 1265, and invaded by the 
Catalans in 1308, it had been governed in the middle of the fourteenth 
century by Nikephoros II Angelos, the dethroned Despot of Epeiros, 
the son-in-law and nominee of John Cantacuzene. When, however, 
Cantacuzene fell, the Despot thought it more prudent to surrender the 
city to John V, who thus, in 1356, became its master. We do not know 
the precise time or manner of its transference to the Gattilusio family. 
A later Byzantine historian 4 , however, states that the inhabitants, 
dissatisfied with the Imperial governor, called in a member of the 
reigning family of Lesbos, who was able to maintain his position owing 
to the domestic quarrels in the Imperial family, and by payment of an 
annual tribute to the Sultan, when the Turks became masters of Thrace 
and Macedonia. Whether the ancient barony became a Genoese pos- 
session by the will of the natives or by grant of the Emperor, one fact is 
certain, that in June, 1384, it was in the possession of Francesco's 
brother, Nicolo 5 . Some six weeks later, a great upheaval of nature, 
prophesied, it was afterwards said, by a Lesbian monk, made the new 
lord of iEnos regent of his brother's island also. 

The violent end of the first Gattilusio who reigned in Lesbos was 

1 Raynaldi op. cit. vn. 249; Wadding, Annates Ordinis Minorum, viii. 289; 
Gregorii XI Secret. Anno iv. f. 63 (Reg. Vat. 270). 

8 Miklosich und Miiller, Acta et diplomata Grceca Medii Mvi, 1. 433, 513, 531; 
II. 129-30, 159, 212, 250, 252-3, 255-6, 264-6. 

* Libri Bullarum, iv. (1365-6), f. 270 T . 

4 Chalkokondyles, 520-1; Kritoboulos, lib. 11. c. 13 

6 Giornale Ligustico, 1. 86-7. 



THE GATTILUSJ OF LESBOS 319 

long remembered in the island. On August 6, 1384, a terrible earthquake 
buried him beneath the ruins of the castle which he had built, as an 
inscription proudly informs us 1 , some eleven years before. After a long 
and painful search, his mutilated body was found and laid to rest in a 
coffin, which he had already prepared, in the church of St John Baptist, 
which he had founded. By his side were laid the mangled bodies of two 
of his sons, Andronico and Domenico, who, with his wife, had also 
perished in the disaster. A third son, named Jacopo, escaped, however, 
by a miracle. At the time of the shock, he was sleeping by the side of 
his brothers in a tower of the castle; next day, however, he was dis- 
covered by a good woman in a vineyard near the Windmills at the foot 
of the fortress. The woman hastened to tell the good news to the chief 
men of the town, who came and fetched the young survivor. The boy 
took the oath on the Gospels as lord of Lesbos before the people and 
the nobles, and, as he was still a minor, his uncle, Nicolo Gattilusio, lord 
of Mnos, who hastened over to Lesbos on the news of the catastrophe, 
shared authority with him. In order to perpetuate the name of the 
popular founder of the dynasty, Jacopo on his accession took the name 
of Francesco II 2 . 

The joint government of uncle and nephew lasted for three years, 
when a dispute arose between them, and Nicold returned to the direction 
of his Thracian barony. In November, 1388, Francesco II joined the 
league of the Knights of Rhodes, Jacques I of Cyprus, the Genoese 
Chartered Company of Chios, and the Commune of Pera against the 
designs of the Sultan Murad I. His popularity with his Perote com- 
patriots was such, that, on the occasion of a visit to Constantinople 
in 1392, they gave him a banquet; but four years later they complained 
that he had not performed his treaty obligations, made in 1388, against 
the Turks. In the summer of 1396, Pera was besieged by the forces 
of Bayezid I, and although Francesco was actually in the port of Con- 
stantinople at the time, and his galley was stationed in the Golden Horn 
near "the Huntsman's Gate" in the modern district of Aivan Serai the 
Commune thought it necessary to draw up a formal protest against his 
inaction and execute it on the stern of his ship. He replied by offering 
to aid his fellow-Genoese, if they would make a sortie, and his galley 
subsequently assisted the Venetians in relieving the capital 3 . After 

1 Hasluck in B.S.A., xv. 262; Conze, Reise auf der Insel Lesbos, 5; Newton, 
Travels and Discoveries in the Levant, 1. 115. 

* N^oj 'T&Khi)voiAvrm<av, vi. 39—40, vii. 144, 344; Narrative of the Embassy of 
Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo to the Court of Timour, at Samarkand, a.d. 1403-6 (tr. 
Markham), 23; Bondelmonti, Liber Insularum Archipelagi (ed. de Sinner), 115. 

8 A Hi, xm. 169, 953-67. 



320 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

the disastrous defeat of the Christians at the battle of Nikopolis later 
in the same year, both he and Nicolo of iEnos rendered signal services 
to the Sultan's noble French prisoners, and Lesbos emerged into 
prominence throughout the French-speaking world. Thither came the 
Duke of Burgundy's chamberlain, Guillaume de l'Aigle, on his pre- 
liminary mission to mollify the heart of Bayezid, with whom Francesco 
had such influence that he was able to obtain leave for his sick cousin, 
Enguerrand VII de Coucy, to remain behind at Brusa, when the rest 
of the captives were dragged farther up country by the Sultan 1 . The 
humane feelings of the lord of Lesbos were doubtless further moved 
by the fact that de Coucy was, through his mother, an Austrian princess, 
connected with the reigning family of Constantinople, from which he 
was himself descended, and by the recent establishment of a French 
protectorate over Genoa. 

Accordingly, he offered bail for his suffering relative, and when 
Marshal Boucicault, another of the prisoners, was set free to raise the 
amount necessary for their ransom, Francesco and other rich merchants 
of Lesbos advanced him the preliminary sum of 30,000 francs. Nicolo 
of ^Enos willingly lent 2000 ducats more, and sent the prisoners a 
present of fish, bread and sugar, while his wife added a goodly supply 
of linen, for which they expressed their deep gratitude 2 . Of the total 
ransom, fixed at 200,000 ducats, Francesco and Nicolo, anxious to 
please the King of France and the Duke of Burgundy, respectively 
made themselves liable for 110,000 and 40,000, which the prisoners 
promised to repay as soon as possible. Half of these two sums was 
actually paid, and the lord of jEnos further furnished on account of 
the Comte de Nevers 10,000 ducats to a son of Bayezid and another 
Turk, who had guarded that nobleman on the day of his capture. Some 
years later the two Gattilusj of Lesbos and iEnos sent in a claim for 
what they had advanced and for sundry expenses amounting in all to 
108,500 ducats. Another member of the family lent 5075 ducats, and 

1 Bauyn, Memoires du voiage fait en Hongrie, f. 351-2 ; Froissart, Chroniques 
(ed. K. de Lettenhove), xv. 345, 347. The relationship was as follows: 

Amedeo V of Savoy 

|_ 

Catherine = Leopold I of Austria Anne = Andronikos III 

Catherine of Austria = Enguerrand VI Maria Palaiologina 

de Coucy = Francesco I Gattilusio 

I 
Enguerrand VII de Coucy Francesco II Gattilusio. 

* Le Livre des faicts du bon Messire Jean le Maingre dit Boucicaut (ed. Paris, 
1825), P art l ch. 28; Delaville le Roulx, La France en Orient au XI V e siicle, 11. 33 
(Doc. of April 15, 1397). 



THE GATTILUSJ OF LESBOS 321 

during his stay in Lesbos the Comte de Nevers negotiated another loan 
from his host for 2500 more 1 . These sums show the wealth and credit 
of these merchant princes. 

When the ransom had been settled, the three French and Bur- 
gundian envoys who had been treating with Bayezid, embarked for 
Lesbos, escorted by Francesco and Nicolo and accompanied by one of 
the ransomed prisoners, who took with him to Burgundy a natural son 
of Francesco, destined to become the grandfather of Giuliano Gattilusio, 
the terrible corsair of the next century 2 . The rest of the prisoners 
followed early in July, and remained for six weeks the guests of 
Francesco and his lady, a noble dame of gentle breeding and 
European accomplishments, acquired at the court of Marie de Bourbon, 
titular Empress of Constantinople and Princess of Achaia, in whose 
society she had been educated. Feeling herself highly honoured at 
the presence of the Comte de Nevers and his companions in the 
castle of Lesbos, she clothed them with fine linen and cloth of 
Damascus, according to the fashion of the Levant, not forgetting to 
replenish the wardrobe of their retainers, while her husband and his 
uncle rendered them every honour and assisted them in their neces- 
sity. The visit terminated in the middle of August, when two galleys, 
equipped by the Knights of Rhodes, transported them to that island, 
their next stage on the homeward voyage. Their generous host 
stood on the shore till the Rhodian galleys had sunk beneath the 
horizon 3 . A few hours earlier he had obtained the signature of a 
treaty which might confer a solid advantage upon his own family and 
give an illusory hope of future glory to his departing guests. His 
daughter Eugenia had just married John Palaiologos, Despot of 
Selymbria, the Emperor Manuel II's nephew and rival. Through the 
agency of Francesco this potentate ceded his claims to the Empire to 
King Charles VI of France in return for a French castle and a per- 
petual annuity of 25,000 gold ducats 4 . Thus in Lesbos, on the morrow 
of Nikopolis, the French could dream of re-establishing the long extinct 
Latin Empire of Romania ! 

Francesco had not seen the last of the French prisoners. In the 
summer of 1399, Boucicault, sent by Charles VI to assist Manuel II in 
defending Constantinople from the Turks, arrived at Lesbos, which he 

1 Ibid. n. 34-5, 48, 91-3; Froissart, Chroniques, xvi. 38, 40, 261 (Doc. of June 
24, 1397); Doukas, 52-3. 

2 Bauyn, Me" moires du voiage, f. 35; Froissart, Chroniques, xvi. 41-2. 

8 Le Livre des faicts, part 1. ch. 28 ; Froissart, Chroniques, xvi. 46, 48-50. Le 
Roulx, op. cit. 11. 43-5 (Doc. of Aug. 10, 1397). 
4 N<fos 'EWrivofiv^fiuv, x. 248-51. 



322 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

had last visited two years before. Francesco received him with outward 
signs of joy, but told him that he had already informed the Turks of 
this new expedition, as he was bound to do by the treaties which he 
had with them. The position of the Lesbian lord was, indeed, of no small 
difficulty. It was his interest to stand well with Bayezid, while his 
son-in-law, John Palaiologos, who spent much of his time in the island, 
had received, as the son of Manuel's elder brother, Turkish assistance in 
his blockade of the Imperial city. The diplomatic Levantine did not, 
however, wish to offend his powerful guest; he therefore offered to 
accompany him, and ordered a galley to be made ready to join the 
expedition. But the information which he had supplied to Bayezid had 
put the Turks upon their guard. A raid in Asia Minor was Boucicault's 
sole military success ; but he achieved, probably thanks to the influence 
of Francesco, the reconciliation of Manuel with his nephew, whom the 
French Marshal fetched from Selymbria to Constantinople. Manuel then 
departed with Boucicault to seek aid at the courts of Europe, while John 
acted as his viceroy on the Bosporos and received, in the presence of the 
Marshal, the promise of Salonika as his future residence 1 . Thus, during 
the absence of Manuel, Francesco's daughter Eugenia sat upon the 
Byzantine throne as the consort of the Emperor's representative, while 
her sister Helene married Stephen Lazarevich, Despot of Serbia, who had 
made her acquaintance during a visit to Lesbos on his return from the 
stricken field of Angora 2 . Francesco was at that time holding Foglia 
Vecchia on a lease from the maona of Chios, and his tact and presents 
saved the place in that crisis from the covetous hands of the victorious 
Timour and his grandson 3 . 

When Manuel returned to Constantinople in 1403, he refused to 
carry out his promised gift of Salonika. Before the battle of Angora 
had decided the fate of Bayezid, and the issue between the Turks and 
the Mongols was still uncertain, John Palaiologos had agreed — it was 
said — to surrender Constantinople and become a tributary of the Sultan, 
in the event of a Turkish victory. This was Manuel's excuse for refusing 
to allow his nephew to reside at Salonika and for banishing him to 
Lemnos. John thereupon appealed to his father-in-law for assistance, 
and Francesco, early in 1403, sailed with five vessels to attack Salonika. 
Hearing that Boucicault, then French governor of Genoa, whose interest 
in Lesbos had just been evinced by the despatch of an embassy thither, 

1 Le Livre des faicts, part I. ch. 31; Narrative, 24. 

2 Revue de V Orient latin, iv. 93 ; Constantine the Philosopher, Life of Stephen 
Lazarevich in Glasnik, xlii. 279; Archiv fur slavische Philologie, xviii. 429. 

3 Doukas, 75-6. 



THE GATTILUSJ OF LESBOS 323 

was once more in the Levant on a punitive expedition against King 
Janus of Cyprus, who had besieged the Genoese colony of Famagosta, 
Francesco despatched a vessel to meet the Marshal, reminding him that 
he had been a witness of the Emperor's promise and begging him to aid 
in taking Salonika 1 . Boucicault did not accede to this request ; on the 
contrary, two vessels from Lesbos and two from iEnos went to assist 
him in his operations against the King of Cyprus, and remained with 
him till shortly before he reached the Venetian colony of Modon on his 
homeward voyage. Manuel ended by bestowing Salonika upon John 
Palaiologos, but the attacks made by Boucicault upon Venetian trade 
in the Levant and the consequent hostilities cost Nicolo Gattilusio, 
owing to his Genoese origin, the loss of 3000 ducats in gold, seized by the 
Venetians at Modon 2 . 

In October of this eventful year of Boucicault's cruise, there arrived 
at Lesbos a mission, sent by Enrique III of Castile to Timour, the victor 
of Angora, whose court was then at Samarkand. The narrative of the 
Castilian ambassador, Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo, gives us an interesting 
account of the island under the second Gattilusio. He found the town 
' ' built on a high hill near the sea, ' ' and ' ' surrounded by a wall with many 
towers," outside of which was "a large suburb." Besides the capital, 
Lesbos contained " several villages and castles," while the neighbourhood 
of the city was well-cultivated and abounded in gardens and vineyards. 
At one time — probably before the earthquake — "very large houses and 
churches" had stood near the town, and at one end of the city were 
"the ruins of great palaces, and in the middle of the ruins about 40 
blocks of white marble." The local tradition was, that "on the top of 
these blocks there was once a platform, where those of the city met in 
council." During the five days of their stay the envoys made the 
acquaintance of John Palaiologos, who was then residing in his wife's 
old home, and heard the tragic story of the late lord's death, of his 
successor's marvellous preservation and of the recent expedition against 
Salonika 3 . Thus, in the reign of Francesco II, Lesbos was frequently 
visited by important personages from the West, and was their last 
stopping-place in Latin lands on their way to Constantinople or to 
Asia. Descended from the famous houses of Byzantium and Savoy, and 
connected with that of Austria, the lord of Mytilene and lessee of Foglia 
Vecchia was regarded by Western visitors as "a great baron"; Eastern 
potentates sought the hands of his daughters in marriage, and when one 

1 Narrative, 23-4; Melanges historiques. Choix de documents, in. 174. 

2 Le Livre des faicts, part n chs. 14, 31; Le Roulx, op. cit. 1. 484 n 1 ; 11. 189. 

3 Narrative, 22-3. 



324 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

of them married the heir of the powerful Giovanni de' Grimaldi 1 , 
governor of Nice and usurper of Monaco, the dowry of 5000 gold ducats 
which she brought from Lesbos was considered a large sum on the 
Riviera. Although born in the Levant, he still kept up the family 
connexion with his paternal city. Both he and his uncle had financial 
transactions with Genoa 2 , and Francesco was patron of the family 
church of San Giacomo at Sestri Ponente 3 . At the same time, while 
Latin archbishops held the see of Mytilene, his relations with the 
dignitaries of the Orthodox church were excellent. The (Ecumenical 
Patriarch addressed him as "well-beloved nephew of the Emperor," 
and his uncle Nicolo as the " Emperor's kinsman by marriage 4 , the most 
noble, glorious, and prudent archon of JEnos," whose consent was sought 
for the appointment of a Metropolitan to that long vacant see 5 . With 
Venice the Gattilusj, as befitted Genoese, at times had difficulties. In 
1398 corsairs, sallying forth from their dominions, did much damage to 
the Cretans who sailed under the Venetian flag; but the Republic none 
the less allowed the wax of Lesbos to be exported at certain seasons for 
sale in her dominions 6 . 

After an eventful reign of 20 years, Francesco II died, if we may 
believe an anonymous Greek chronologist 7 , on October 26, 1404. His 
end was strangely similar to that of his father. On a journey through 
the island, while passing the night in one of the lofty towers then 
common in the Archipelago, he was stung by a scorpion. Alarmed at 
his cries, his attendants and nobles climbed up into his room in such 
numbers that the floor collapsed and he was killed on the spot leaving 
three sons, Jacopo, Palamede and Dorino, of whom the eldest Jacopo 
became his successor 8 . The heir was, however, still a minor, and 
accordingly once again Nicolo came and acted as regent. His friendly 
policy as regent and his support of her subjects in the Levant on more 
than one occasion called forth the warm praise of Venice; but his 

1 Gioffredo, Storia delle Alpi Marittime, in Monumenta Historic Patrice, iv. 
1001-2, 1077. 

2 Giornale Ligustico, 1. 89-90, 217. 

3 Ibid. 1. 219. 

* Bibliotheca Carmelitana, n. 943; Fontana, Sacrum Theatrum Dominicanum, 
238; Sp. P. Lampros, Catalogue of the Greek Manuscripts on Mount Athos, n. 305. 

5 Miklosich und Miiller, Acta, 11. 140, 234, 338. 

• Noiret, Documents inSdits pour servir a I'histoire de la domination vlnitienne en 
Crite de 1380 a 1485, pp. 107, 127. 

7 TStos 'EWTjvofivrifiuv, vi. 40; vn. 341. From Giornale Ligustico, 1. 219, it 
has been assumed that he was still alive on May 25, 1409; but the Greek is con- 
firmed by Noiret, Documents, 161, where Nicol6 is described as regent on April 4, 
1405, and by Libri Bullarum, xxiv. (1409-16) f. i94 v , where Jacopo is addressed 
as "lord of Mytilene" on April 12, 1409. 

8 Bondelmonti, Liber Insularum, 115. 



THE GATTILUSJ OF LESBOS 325 

fortification of Tenedos provoked an indignant protest 1 . Moreover the 
Greeks of Lesbos can scarcely have been edified by the appointment of 
rival Latin bishops — the result of the schism in the Western Church — 
which occurred during his regency 2 . In the spring of 1409 he died 3 , and 
Jacopo, then of age, assumed the government of Lesbos, while Fran- 
cesco's younger son, Palamede 4 , succeeded his uncle and guardian at 
iEnos. Nicolo's fame long lingered in the Levant. Kritoboulos 5 half a 
century later ascribed to him the achievements of Francesco I, the 
founder of the dynasty, whose wisdom, and education, whose courage 
and physical gifts he extols, whom all Syria and Egypt feared and 
propitiated with annual blackmail, for his numerous navy ravaged their 
coasts and even the Libyan littoral. 

Jacopo's policy was to favour Genoese interests where they conflicted 
with Venetian, but to co-operate with the two rival Republics when they 
showed signs of uniting against his dreaded neighbours, the Turks. 
Thus, he aided Centurione Zaccaria, the Genoese Prince of Achaia, in 
his campaign against the Tocchi of Cephalonia and Zante, who were 
thereby compelled to invoke the protection of Venice; while the 
Venetians threatened to sequestrate all Lesbian merchandise in Crete, 
unless he gave satisfaction for the seizure of a Cretan merchantman 6 . 
Venetian and Genoese subjects, however, suffered alike from the 
reprisals provoked by the attack of two Lesbian galleys upon the 
Saracens of Damietta ; and Jacopo had a counter grievance in the illegal 
levy of toll upon his people by the Genoese of Chios 7 . Towards the Turks 
he was, from his position, obliged to be deferential, except when he saw 
prospect of common action against them. If the Knights of Rhodes 
complained that he had sheltered the Turks, and so saved them from 
destruction at the hands of those zealous champions of Christendom 8 , 
he was ready, in 1415, to join the latter, the Genoese of Chios, and the 
Venetian Republic in an anti-Turkish league; while he did homage to 
Mohammed I and aided first that Sultan and then Murad II in the 
suppression of Djouneid of Aidin, when fortune smiled upon them 9 . In 

1 Noiret, Documents, p. 161; Sathas, Mvi;/ie?a ' E\\r)viKT)s 'Iorop/as, II. 127; 
Revue de I'Orient latin, iv. 279-80, 282. 

2 Innocent VII. Ann. 1. Lib. Mist. ff. 53-4. Bened. XIII. Avin. t. xl. ff. 157-9. 

3 Probably between April 12 and May 25. Giornale Ligustico, 1. 217-9; Libri 
Bullarum, I.e. 

* Inscription at iEnos, B.S.A ., xv. 251, 254 : Xpi<TTiavuci)s ' Apxat-oXoyiKijs 'Eraipeias 
AeXriov, VIII. 16. 

6 Lib. iv. c. 13. 

• Sathas, Mvrineta, 1. 43-4; in. 24-5; Noiret, Documents, 230-1. 

7 Revue de I'Orient latin, v. 176, 188, 315. 

8 Libri Bullarum, xxiv. (1409-16). 

9 Doukas, 106, 108; Sathas, Mvy/xcia, in. 118-20; Revue, iv. 574; v. 193. 



326 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

1426, the threatened declaration of war by Venice upon Genoa, then 
under Milanese domination, caused him some embarrassment; but the 
Genoese Government bade him 1 not to be afraid of Venetian threats. 
Not long after this, probably in 1428, Jacopo died 2 . An anonymous 
Greek informs us that he had married Bonne," the fair daughter of the 
lord of Nice near Marseilles " but this statement would appear to be due 
to a confusion with the marriage of his sister with Pietro de' Grimaldi, 
for Bonne, the offspring of that union espoused Louis Cossa, lord of 
Berre, unless the Bonne mentioned was the daughter of Amedeo VIII 
of Savoy, in whose dominions Nice was then included 3 . In 142 1, 
however, Valentina D'Oria is described as "lady of Mytilene 4 ." At any 
rate, it seems probable that he left no issue, for his successor, Dorino I, 
is described in a Genoese document and by a traveller of this period as 
"brother" of Palamede, lord of iEnos 5 , and therefore of Jacopo. 
Dorino, whose name was derived from the famous Genoese house of 
D'Oria, allied by marriage with many Gattilusj, had already had 
experience of ruling for several years over Foglia Vecchia as his 
appanage — a fact still commemorated by his coins and an inscription 
there 6 , which describes him as its "lord" in 1423-4. This former pos- 
session of the Zaccaria is first mentioned as administered by the 
Gattilusj in 1402, and remained united with the Lesbian branch of the 
family till 1455. 

Meanwhile, iEnos had prospered under the rule of Palamede. Six 
inscriptions, still extant there, proclaim the activity of the masons 
during the early years of his long reign — the erection of the churches 
of the Chrysopege and of St Nicholas by two private citizens and the 
completion of three other public works 7 . But Palamede not only 
embellished his domain; he also extended it. The neighbouring island 
of Samothrace, a Greek possession since the reconquest of Constantinople 
from the Latins, now owned his sway — for in 1433, when Bertrandon de 

1 Giornale Ligustico, 1. 219—20. 

2 Between March 13, 1426 (probably after May 11, 1428) and October 14, 1428. 
Giornale Ligustico, 1. 219—20; 11. 86-7. Hopf's assumption that it was Jacopo 
who was killed in the fall of the tower must be wrong, because Bondelmonti, 
writing in 1422, speaks of that event as having occurred meis diebus. The allusion 
to the lord of Foglia Vecchia as a distinct person in the document of May n, 1428, 
indicates that Jacopo was still alive. 

* N6>y 'EXkrjvonp-qtuav, vi. 40, 492; vii. 95; Gioffredo, op. cit. 1077; Anselme, 
Histoire glnialogique et chronologique de la Maison de France, I v. 501. 

4 Revue de I'Orient latin, v. 114. 

8 Giornale Ligustico, v. 347; Bertrandon de la Broquiere, Le Voyage d'Outremer 
in Recueil de Voyages et de Documents (ed. Ch. Schefer), xn. 173-4. 

6 B.S.A. xv. 258. 

7 B.S.A. xv 254-6; Xp. kpx 'Et. beXrlov, VIII. 13, 16-7, 19-20, 29-30. 



THE GATTILUSJ OF LESBOS 327 

la Broquiere 1 visited ^Enos, he wrote that Samothrace also belonged 
to its lord. In that island, then known as Mandrachi and celebrated for 
its honey and its goats, Palamede erected on March 26, 1431, and 
extended in 1433, a new fortress for the protection of its numerous 
population, as two inscriptions in its walls, one in Greek, one in Latin 2 
still remind us. The Genoese lord, we are told, was interested in the past 
history of his dominions ; he " loved greatly to hear learned discussions," 
and to him a contemporary scholar, John Kanaboutzes, applied the 
saying of Plato about philosophers and kings. To his desire to know what 
Dionysios of Halikarnassos had written about Samothrace we owe the 
brief commentary on that author, compiled at his command by that 
writer, a native of Foglia 3 , whose family was connected with iEnos 4 — 
one of several instances, where Italian rulers of Greece showed a con- 
sciousness of that country's great past. Like his brother Jacopo, 
Palamede was inclined to support the Genoese Prince of Achaia, and 
the Venetian admiral was ordered to remonstrate with him, should 
occasion require 5 . 

Although more than seventy years had by this time elapsed since 
Francesco I had left Genoa for the Levant, the connexion between the 
distant Republic and his descendants in the East was never closer than 
now. In 1428, and again in 1444, the Genoese Government, although it 
forbade the circulation of Lesbian ducats in Genoa and district, and 
repudiated responsibility for the harm done by the Gattilusj to the 
subjects of the Sultan of Egypt, specially consulted "the lords of 
Mytilene, ^Enos and Foglia Vecchia" whether they desired to be in- 
cluded or no in the treaties of peace, which it had just concluded with 
King Alfonso V of Aragon. "The many services rendered to us and to 
the community of Genoa by you and your ancestors" — so runs one of 
these interesting despatches — "make us realise that in all treaties 
involving peace or war we ought to consider your honour and advance- 
ment. For your welfare, your misfortunes, are equally ours." Dorino I 
replied that he wished to be so included, and his agents accordingly 
ratified the peace at Genoa on his behalf in 1429. When, two years later, 
Genoa was drawn into the war between her Milanese masters and Venice, 
the Archbishop of Milan, who was at that time the governor of Genoa, 

1 i.e. 

2 Conze, Reise auf den Inseln des Thrakischen Meeres, 55-6 ; PI. II . 7, 8 ; A thenische 
Mitteilungen, xxxiv. 26-7; Atti, xi. 341. 

3 Tozzetti, Relazioni d'alcuni viaggi fatti in diverse parti della Toscana (ed. 1773), 
v. 452. 

4 Joannis Canabutza magistri ad principem Mni et Samothraces in Dionysium 
Halicarnassensem commentarius, 2, 14; B.S.A. xv. 256. 

6 Sathas, Mvrjfieia, 1. 44. 



328 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

notified Dorino of the outbreak of hostilities, following the precedent 
set in the case of his father and grandfather, warned that "most 
distinguished of our citizens " to put his island in a state of defence and 
begged him to aid any Genoese colony that might require assistance 1 . 
So much importance was attached at Milan to his support, that 
Francesco Sforza, the Duke, accredited Benedetto Folco of Forli to the 
Lesbian court, in order to urge Dorino against Venice 2 . At the same 
time, the Genoese Government, "remembering that in all its past 
victories the galleys of the Gattilusj had borne their part," invited the 
lord of Lesbos to co-operate with Ceba, the Genoese commander who 
was to be despatched for the relief of Chios from the Venetians, and 
requested him to send a galley to that island. Dorino replied in a loyal 
strain, whereupon the Genoese Government thanked him for this 
display of fidelity, traditional in his family, and again urged him to 
equip his galley for the defence of Chios. Two other despatches, 
following in rapid succession, begged him to inform the Chians of the 
speedy arrival of the Genoese fleet and to see that his own galley was in 
Chian waters by the middle of May. Dorino was as good as his word, 
and gave orders that a Lesbian galley should join the expedition; but 
before the latter arrived, the Venetians had raised the siege. As a 
reward for his services, the commander of the Genoese fleet and the 
governors of Pera and Chios were instructed to provide for the safety 
of his little state, and the home government invited him to rely upon 
its unshakable affection in time of need. Influential Genoese marriages 
stimulated this feeling. Dorino had married a D'Oria; Palamede's 
daughter Caterina now married another; while her sisters, Ginevra and 
Costanza, respectively espoused Ludovico and Gian Galeazzo de Campo- 
fregoso, relatives of the then reigning Doge, and the former soon to 
be Doge himself. Thus Lesbian interests were well represented at Genoa. 
In return, Genoa frequently requested Dorino to see that justice was 
done to her subjects in his dominions, even to the detriment of his own 
family 3 . 

Genoa found Dorino no less useful as a diplomatist than as an ally, 
for the lord of Lesbos and Foglia Vecchia had married his daughter 
Maria to Alexander, second son of Alexios IV, Emperor of Trebizond. 
in whose dominions the Genoese, owing to their Black Sea colonies, 
had important commercial interests, latterly greatly injured by the 

1 Giornale Ligustico, I. 220-1; 11. 86-9; in. 314-5; Revue de I'Orient latin, 
v. 371-2; vi. 96. 

* Documenti diplomatici tratti dagli Archivj Milanesi, in. 49 n l . 

* Giornale Ligustico, 11. 90-3, 292-6, 313-4, 316; Atti, xxm. 265; Revue de 
I'Orient latin, vi. 112. 



THE GATTILUSJ OF LESBOS 329 

pro- Venetian policy of that sovereign. According to the Trapezuntine 
practice, Alexios had raised his eldest son John IV to the Imperial 
dignity in his own lifetime ; but his unnlial heir conspired against him, 
was driven into exile, and replaced by his next brother Alexander. 
John IV was, however, as favourable to the Genoese as his father to the 
Venetians, and was restored with the assistance of a Genoese of Caffa. 
Alexios IV was murdered in 1429; but John IV was not allowed to reign 
undisturbed. His brother Alexander fled to Constantinople, where his 
sister was wife of the Emperor John VI, and contracted a marriage with 
Dorino's daughter, in order that he might secure his support, and 
through him, that of Genoa, against the Emperor of Trebizond. When 
the Spanish traveller, Pero Tafur, visited Lesbos at this time he found 
Alexander there engaged in levying a fleet for his restoration. This did 
not, however, suit Genoese policy, and accordingly the Doge of Genoa 
requested Dorino in 1438 to act as peacemaker between the two brothers 
and to invite his son-in-law to reside at Constantinople or in Lesbos 
on an annuity chargeable on the revenues of Trebizond 1 . Another 
matrimonial alliance brought Dorino's family into renewed relations 
with the Palaiologoi. In 1446, an old link between the two families had 
been snapped by the death of Eugenia Gattilusio, widow of the Emperor 
John VI's cousin and namesake 2 — an event which was doubtless the 
occasion when the castle of Kokkinos on the coast of Lemnos, which 
had been her widow's portion, passed into the hands of Dorino 3 . On 
July 27 of the following year, however, the Emperor's brother, the 
Despot Constantine, afterwards the last Christian ruler of Byzantium, 
married Dorino's daughter Caterina, a marriage arranged by the 
historian Phrantzes. This union did not last long; after a brief honey- 
moon in Lesbos, Constantine left his bride in her father's care, and set 
out, accompanied by a Lesbian galley, for the Morea, nor did he see her 
again till his return in the following July. At Lesbos he took her on 
board his ship; but, when he reached Lemnos on his way to Con- 
stantinople, he had to take refuge behind the walls of Kokkinos from 
the attacks of a Turkish fleet. The Turks in vain besieged the castle of 
the Gattilusj for 27 days, and the strain and anxiety of the siege caused 
the death of his wife, which occurred at Palaiokastro in August. There 

1 Chalkokondyles, 462; Pero Tafur, Andancas 6 viajes in Collection de libros 
espanoles raros 6 curiosos, vm. 159, 187; Giornale Ligustico, 11. 292-3; Lampros, 
Catalogue, n. 305. A Genoese document (Revue de I'Orient latin, vi. 67), proves that 
Alexios IV died in 1429, not, as usually assumed, c. 1445. 

2 Phrantzes, 191. 

3 Stefano Magno apud Hopf, Chroniques gr&co-romanes, 199. 



330 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

the ill-fated second consort of the last hero of the Byzantine Empire 
was laid to rest 1 . 

Meanwhile, besides the acquisition of Kokkinos, thus courageously 
saved by his heroic son-in-law, Dorino had received from the Greek 
Empire the island of Thasos, which more than a century before had 
belonged to the Genoese family of Zaccaria. Indeed, if we may accept 
the two allusions to the Gattilusj in the Greek version of Bondelmonti 2 
as the work of that traveller, Thasos, which was Byzantine in September, 
1414, had been given to Jacopo as a fief before 1420. At any rate, a 
Thasian inscription of April 1, 1434, now preserved in the wall of the 
church of St Athanasios at Kastro, informs us that a tower was built 
there by Oberto de' Grimaldi 3 a member of the well-known Ligurian 
family who is mentioned elsewhere 4 as a captain in the service of Dorino. 
Ten years later, the archaeologist, Cyriacus of Ancona, upon visiting 
Thasos, found that Dorino had recently bestowed the island upon his 
son, Francesco III, who was still under the control of a preceptor, 
Francesco Pedemontano. 

The indefatigable antiquary may have paid an earlier visit to 
Lesbos in 143 1, but the accounts which he has left of the Gattilusj, their 
dominions, and the neighbouring islands of the Thracian Sea range 
from 1444 to 1447. In Lesbos he was well received by Dorino, who 
promised to aid him in exploring the whole island. He had, indeed, 
arrived at a fortunate moment, for the rumour of a threatened Turkish 
invasion had ceased, so that the lord of Lesbos had leisure for archae- 
ology, and his visitor could examine "the remains of the temple of 
Diana," and "the baths of Jove," whose name was carved in the midst 
of them 5 . With Dorino's captain, Oberto de' Grimaldi, he sailed to 
Foglia Vecchia, where the Gattilusj had a factory, as at Lesbos, for the 
production of alum, and made the acquaintance of "the Master 
Kanaboutzes," probably the author of the commentary on Dionysios, 
who could tell him all about the Foglie, of which he was a native 6 . In 
Thasos, the third domain of the elder branch of the Gattilusj, he spent 
Christmas day, and composed a long Latin inscription as well as an 

1 Phrantzes, 193-5; Chalkokondyles, 306; Revue de I' Orient latin, vn. 75; 
Ekthesis Chronica, 7. 

2 Description des lies de I'Archipel (ed. Legrand), 92; Phrantzes, 96; Ath. Mitt. 
xxii. 119 n 3 . 

3 Conze, Reise auf den Inseln, 37, PI. Ill, 4; Libri Bullarum, xxxiv. (1432-3), 
f. 112. * Sathas, MvTjfieia, in. 24-5; Tozzetti, Relazioni, v. 436. 

5 Tozzetti, Relazioni, v. 449, 451; De Rossi, Inscriptiones Christiana Urbis 
Romce, 11. part 1. 372 n 4 ; Atti, xm. 983. 

6 Tozzetti, Relazioni, v. 435-6, 447, 451-2; Pero Tafur, in op. cit. viii. 134, 187. 



THE GATTILUSJ OF LESBOS 331 

Italian poem in honour of young Francesco. The enthusiastic guest 
prayed that the beginning of his host's rule over Thasos might be of 
as good omen as " the yule log thrown on the fire in the turreted castle " ; 
that the yoke of the barbarian Turks might be removed from Thrace, 
that the former dependencies of the island there might return to his 
sway, and that Francesco's patron saint, St John the Evangelist, might 
protect this "native offspring of the Palaiologoi, this pride of the most 
noble Gatalusian race." "What Thasian nymph," he asks, " could have 
deprived Lesbos of her Francesco? " The attraction was the lordship 
of an island, which had been described by Bondelmonti as well-peopled, 
very fertile and containing three fair towns. Francesco had, indeed, 
begun well by restoring the principal city, thus earning a dedicatory 
inscription by the Thasian citizens and colonists, and by erecting at 
the entrance of the harbour some fine marble statues, which an ancient 
inscription showed to have represented the members of the Thasian 
council. At this time the island could boast of six other towns beside 
its "marble city," whose walls attracted the admiration of the traveller. 
Under the guidance of Carlo de' Grimaldi and "the learned Giovanni of 
Novara," he inspected the numerous ancient tombs outside, the large 
amphitheatre with no less than 20 rows then standing intact, and the 
akropolis of the city 1 . 

The worthy Cyriacus was no less hospitably received by the junior 
branch of the Gattilusj. At iEnos he met Palamede with his two sons 
Giorgio and Dorino II, and was delighted to find there an old friend in 
the person of Cristoforo Dentuto, envoy extraordinary of Genoa in 
the Levant. Accompanied by "the prince of ^Enos and Samothrace" 
as he calls Palamede, and by Francesco Calvi, the latter's secretary, he 
was taken to see " the great tomb of Polydoros, son of Priam," some five 
stadia beyond the walls, admired the sculptured figures of fauns and 
animals there, and copied an ancient Greek inscription from the marble 
base of a statue that stood before "the prince's court." Letters of 
introduction from Palamede and Francesco of Thasos secured for him 
a warm reception at the monastery of Hagia Laura on Mount Athos 2 . 
At Samothrace, Joannes Laskaris Rhyndakenos, Palamede's prefect of 
the island, personally conducted the antiquary to the old city, where 
he saw " ancient walls and the remains of a marble temple of Neptune " 

1 Colucci, Delle Antichith Picene, xv. pp. cxxxiii, cxxxvii-cxli; Codex Vat. 
lat. 5250, ff. 11-13, 15-17 (mostly published in Ath. Mitt. xxn. 115-7); Ciriaci 
Anconitani codex (in Biblioteca Capitolare of Treviso), 1. 138, f. I52 v et seqq. 

2 Ibid. f. 152 et sqq.; Colucci, Delle Antichith, xv. p. cxxxii; Tozzetti, Relazioni, 
v. 459; NVos 'EWrjvofjLv^fiwv, vii. 341-2; De Rossi, Inscriptiones, 11. part I. 370 n 1 ; 
Revue de I'Orient latin, vn. 53, 384. 



332 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

(known to modern archaeologists as "the Dorian marble temple"), 
"fragments of huge columns, epistylia and bases, and doorposts, 
adorned with the crowned heads of bulls and other figures" — now 
identified with the remains of a round building built by Arsinoe, 
daughter of Ptolemy Soter. Thence he went to " the new castle, founded 
by Palamede" some thirteen years before, and built to protect his new 
town of "Capsulum." Close to the tower he saw to his delight "several 
ancient marbles, with dances of Nymphs sculptured and inscriptions in 
Latin and Greek" — the two reliefs of dancing Nymphs now in the 
Louvre 1 . From his accounts of the neighbouring islands, we learn that 
Imbros, where his guide was a noble and learned Imbriote, Hermodoros 
Michael Kritoboulos, the historian, in 1444 was still Byzantine, and 
"governed for the Emperor John Palaiologos" by that same noble, 
Manuel Asan, of whom inscriptions have been found there, and who had 
lately restored two-thirds of the akropolis 2 . We find, too, that in 1447 
Theodore Branas was Byzantine governor of Lemnos, where the 
Gattilusj as yet held only the castle of Kokkinos 3 . 

The visit of the antiquary of Ancona to the Gattilusj was the calm 
before the storm, which was so soon to burst upon them. Even while 
Cyriacus was their guest, the fatal battle of Varna made Murad II 
master of the Near East. For a few years, indeed, the Gattilusj went 
on marrying and giving in marriage, as if the end of their rule were 
not at hand. In 1444, Dorino's daughter Ginevra married Giacomo II 
Crispo, Duke of the Archipelago 4 ; five years later the lord of Lesbos 
sent the Archbishop of Mytilene, at that time the celebrated Leonardo 
of Chios, to Rome to obtain from the Pope a dispensation for the 
marriage of his eldest surviving son, Domenico, and a daughter of 
Palamede. As the two young people were first-cousins, Ludovico de 
Campo-fregoso, Palamede's son-in-law and at that time Doge of Genoa, 
begged the Pope not to grant the dispensation, and as an example of 
the iniquity of such an alliance he instanced the case of Dorino's 
firstborn (presumably Francesco III of Thasos), who had married 
another daughter of Palamede and had died less than six months 

1 Conze, Hauser und Niemann, Archaeologische Untersuchungen anf Samothrake, 
1. 1 n 1 , 2, 16, Pis. IV-VIII, LXII; vol. 11. PI. IX; Conze, Reise auf den Inseln, 62, 
PI. XII; Cod. Vat. lat. 5250, f. 14; Annali dell' Institute) (1842), xiv. 141 and tav. 
d'agg. p. 3, where the date should be, ,r^"£y' =1454/5; NVos'EX\??»'OM»"7A tw »'> vu. 
94; Ath. Mitt, xxxiv. 28. 

2 Cod. Vat. lat. 5250, f. 11, published by Ziebarth, Eine Inschriftenhandschrift 
der Hamburger Stadtbibliothek, 15; Ath. Mitt., xviii. 361; xxxi. 405-8; Conze, Reise 
auf den Inseln, 82, PI. Ill, 5, 9, 13. 

3 Tozzetti, Relazioni, v. 435; Moschides, 'H Aij/xvos, 1. 168. 

4 Leonardi Chiensis De vera nobilitate, 55 ; Revue de V Orient latin, vu. 427. 



THE GATTILUSJ OF LESBOS 333 

afterwards. The Pope refused his consent, and the marriage did not 
take place 1 . 

Hitherto the Gattilusj, partly by tribute paid ever since the reign of 
Murad I 2 , partly by tact, had managed to keep the Turks at a distance. 
On one occasion, when Constantinople had been threatened, the Pope 
had offered to pay the expenses of the Lesbian galley, if Dorino would 
agree to sent it thither; but the Genoese Government, while transmitting 
his Holiness' offer and praising the services of the Gattilusj to Christen- 
dom, recognised their natural unwillingness to offend the Sultan and 
advised Dorino, if he did send aid, to pretend that he was merely 
protecting Genoese interests at Pera. The Greek Emperor was able to 
raise a loan, if he received no actual assistance, at iEnos 3 ; but in 1450, 
at last, Lesbos was attacked. Murad despatched a large fleet under 
Baltaoghli, the first in the list of Turkish admirals, against the island, 
and his men carried off more than 3000 souls, slaughtered many cattle, 
destroyed the flourishing city of Kallone, and inflicted damage to the 
amount of more than 150,000 ducats. It was probably on this occasion 
that the lady of Lesbos, Orietta d'Oria, performed the prodigy of valour 
that won her a niche in the literary Pantheon of her native city besides 
the men of her father's house. At the time of the invasion, she seems 
to have been in the town of Molivos, the ancient Methymna, whose 
inhabitants, exhausted from lack of food, were on the point of sur- 
rendering, when she appeared among them in full armour, and led them 
to victory against the astonished Turks. Thereupon Dorino was able to 
secure by a timely present and the increase of his tribute to 2000 gold 
pieces a renewal of the peace which he protested that he had never 
broken. He was, however, under no illusions as to the durability of this 
truce. He wrote to Genoa, asking for assistance, reminding the Republic 
that he was of Genoese origin and that he had often aided her to the 
best of his power with men, ships, and money. Unless, therefore, she 
could protect him, he would be reluctantly compelled to look elsewhere 
for help. At the same time, after the fashion of the Christian princes 
of the Levant on the eve of the Turkish conquest, he announced his 
intention of sending an expedition to obtain his rights from the Emperor 
John IV of Trebizond, who had also maltreated the Genoese of Caffa, 
and begged the Republic to receive and revictual his galleys in her Black 
Sea ports. This last request was granted 4 . 

1 Ibid. viii. 54 ; Giornale Ligustico, v. 347-9. 

2 Chalkokondyles, 519. But iEnos was described in 1457 as semper in servitute 
Teucrorum (N6» 'E\\r}i> onvhfj.i0v, vn. 366). 

3 Giornale Ligustico, 11. 295-6; Revue, viii. 43. 

* Giornale Ligustico, v. 350; Revue, viii. 29, 65; Chalkokondyles, 519. Folietae 



334 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

The Turkish conquest of Constantinople, although it sounded the 
death-knell of the Latin states in the Levant, was of momentary benefit 
to the Gattilusj. They had been close relatives and good friends of the 
Greek Imperial family, and one of them, a certain Laudisio, had dis- 
tinguished himself in the defence of the city 1 ; but, when all was over, 
they hastened to profit by its fall. The two islands of Lemnos and 
Imbros, from their position near the mouth of the Dardanelles, have 
always possessed great strategic importance. Under the Latin Empire, 
Lemnos had been the fief of the Lord High Admiral, who bore the title 
of Grand-duke; under the Palaiologoi it had been either the appanage 
of an Imperial prince, or had been entrusted to the government of some 
great noble. So greatly was it coveted, that Alfonso V of Aragon had 
made it the price of his aid for the relief of Constantinople 2 , while during 
the siege Constantine had promised it to Giustiniani, if the Turks were 
repulsed 3 . When the news of the disaster reached these islands, the 
Byzantine authorities fled on board Italian ships, while many of the 
inhabitants sought refuge in Chios or in the Venetian colonies. There 
was, however, one leading personage in Imbros, who was resolved to 
remain and make terms with the victors. This was Kritoboulos, the future 
historian of Mohammed II, who bribed the Turkish Admiral, Hamza, 
not to attack the islands and through his mediation managed to send 
representatives of the Greek church and the local nobility with a present 
to the Sultan's court at Adrianople, begging him to allow them to be 
administered as before. It chanced that at this moment envoys of the 
Gattilusj were at Adrianople, for on the fall of Constantinople both 
Dorino and Palamede had hastened to placate and congratulate the 
terrible Sultan, and to crave the grant of Lemnos and Imbros. Dorino, 
although he was still lord of Lesbos in name and continued to sign state 
documents, had been bed-ridden since 1449, and his eldest surviving son, 
Domenico, governed as regent. Domenico and one of Palamede's 
councillors were supported by the two emissaries of Kritoboulos, and 
the Sultan was pleased to confer Lemnos upon the lord of Lesbos, 
Imbros upon him of iEnos. At the same time Mohammed ordered the 
former to pay an annual tribute of 3000 gold pieces for Lesbos and 2325 
for Lemnos; that of Imbros was assessed at 1200 gold pieces. Thus, by 
the irony of fate, only nine years before its annihilation, the dominion 

Clarorum Lignrum Elogia (ed. 1573), 97-8; B. Campofulgosi Exemplorum, hoc est, 
dictorum factorumque memorabilium...lib. IX (ed. Bale), 328 (who makes her the 
wife of Luchino); ^Eneae Sylvii Opera... omnia, 355-6 (who calls the heroine a 
virgin, and who heard the story told in 1455 by the bishop of Caff a, who had heard 
it in Lesbos). ISios 'EM^o/wt^wj', vii. 317-8. 

1 Atti, xin. 247. 2 Phrantzes, 327. 3 Doukas, 266. 



THE GATTILUSJ OF LESBOS 335 

of the Gattilusj reached its greatest extent. Indeed, there was a party 
in Skyros also which advocated annexation to Lesbos, but there the 
majority wisely preferred the nearer and more powerful lion of St Mark, 
which waved over Eubcea 1 . 

The Gattilusj were now well aware that they only existed on 
sufferance, and they were more careful than ever not to offend their 
master. Domenico paid more than one visit of obeisance to the Turkish 
court; and when, in June, 1455, the Turkish admiral, on his way to 
Rhodes, anchored off Lesbos, the historian Doukas 2 , the prince's 
secretary, was sent on board with a handsome present of garments of 
silk and of woven wool six in number, 6000 pieces of silver, 20 oxen, 
50 sheep, more than 800 measures of wine, 2 bushels of biscuit and one 
of bread, more than 1000 lbs. of cheese, and fruit without measure, as 
well as gifts in proportion to their rank for the members of the admiral's 
staff. Under these circumstances, it was no wonder that Hamza treated 
the lord of Lesbos "like a brother," and refrained from entering the 
harbour, for fear of alarming the islanders. 

Scarcely had the Turkish fleet left, when, on June 30, 1455, Dorino I 
died, leaving his dominion of Lesbos, Foglia Vecchia, Thasos, and 
Lemnos to his eldest surviving son, Domenico, for whom the younger, 
Nicold, acted as governor in the last-named island. Before a month 
had passed, the fleet hove in sight of Mytilene on its homeward voyage, 
and was invited to anchor in the harbour, where the serviceable Doukas 
again visited the admiral, whom he kept in good humour by a sump- 
tuous banquet and sped on his way with a sigh of relief on the morrow. 
But the historian had before him a more delicate mission — that of 
paying the annual tribute for Lesbos and Lemnos to Mohammed II. 
Starting from Lesbos on August 1, he found the Sultan at Adrianople, 
kissed hands in token of homage and remained seated in his presence, 
till His Majesty's morning meal was over. When, however, he went to 
hand the money to the Sultan's ministers next day, they ingeniously 
asked him after the health of his master. The historian replied that he 
was well and sent his greeting, whereupon the Ottomans answered, that 
they meant the old prince. Doukas explained that Dorino had been 
dead 40 days, and that his successor had already been practically prince 
for six years, during which time he had once or twice come in person 
to do homage and congratulate the Great Turk. The ministers there- 
upon cut short the conversation with the remark that no one had the 
right to assume the title of lord of Lesbos (borne till his death by Dorino) , 

1 Kritoboulos, lib. 1. cc. 74-5; Doukas, 314, 328; Magno apud Hopf, Chroniques, 
198-9. . * Pp. 321-2. 



336 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

until he had come and received his principality from the hands of his 
Most Mighty suzerain. " Go therefore," they said, " and return with thy 
master; for if he come not, he knows what the future has in store for 
him." The terrified envoy hastened back to Lesbos, and set out with 
Domenico and several leading men of both races in the island to do 
homage to Mohammed. The Sultan had, however, meanwhile changed 
his headquarters, for the plague was then ravaging Thrace, and it was 
not till the Lesbian deputation reached the Bulgarian village of Zlatica 
that they came up with him. After the usual bakshish to the influential 
Pashas, Mahmiid and Said Achmet, they were admitted to the presence, 
and Domenico humbly kissed the hand of his suzerain. But on the 
morrow a message was conveyed to Domenico, that the Sultan wished 
to have the island of Thasos. Argument was useless, and the island, 
which had belonged for some 20, or perhaps even 35, years to the 
Gattilusj, was ceded to Mohammed. This sacrifice only whetted the 
appetite of the Sultan ; on the morrow a second message announced that 
the tribute for Lesbos would be doubled. At this Domenico plucked up 
courage to reply, that, if the Sultan wished to take the whole of Lesbos, 
it was in his power to do so; but that to pay twice the previous tribute 
was beyond its present ruler's resources. At the same time, he begged 
the Sultan's ministers to intervene on his behalf. The}' represented the 
facts to their master, and the latter agreed to a compromise, by which 
Lesbos should thenceforth pay 4000 gold pieces, instead of 3000. Then, 
at last they decked Domenico with a gold-embroidered robe and his 
companions with silken garments; the Lesbians signed the oath of 
allegiance and set out on their homeward journey, "thanking God, who 
had delivered them out of the hands of the monster." 

But the year was not destined to close without further losses to 
the Gattilusj. While the deputation was still at Philippopolis, a second 
Turkish fleet, under Junis, set out to attack the Genoese colony of Chios. 
Off the Troad a storm arose, in which several of the Turkish vessels 
perished, while the rest of the fleet, except the flagship, took refuge in 
the harbour of Mytilene, where Nicolo was then representing his absent 
brother. It had been one of the treaty obligations of the lords of Lesbos, 
ever since they had been vassals of the Sultan, to warn the Turks who 
inhabited the opposite mainland between the mouth of the Kaikos and 
the town of Assos, of the approach of Catalan corsairs, and the Gattilusj 
were bound to pay compensation for any loss caused by negligence in 
performing this service. Now it chanced that the scout, employed on 
this business, sailed into the harbour while the Turks were there, 
followed by the missing Turkish flagship. The admiral, a very different 



THE GATTILUSJ OF LESBOS 337 

man from his predecessor, requited Nicold Gattilusio's generous 
hospitality by demanding that this vessel with all on board should be 
given up to him as a prize, including the wife of a very distinguished 
member of the Chian Chartered Company, Paride Giustiniani Longo, 
with all her jewelry. The lady in question was none other than Domenico's 
mother-in-law, whom he had invited to Lesbos to keep his wife company 
while he was away — for Domenico's love for his wife was proverbial, 
and it is narrated of him that he could never bear to be out of her sight 
and even shared her bed when she was afflicted with leprosy. Nicol6 
protested that the vessel was his brother's and that the wealthy Chian 
dame had not been on board but had already been long in the island. At 
this, the Turkish commander complained to the Sultan, and sailed for 
Foglia Nuova, of which Paride Longo was then governor for the Chian 
Company. Arrived there, he summoned the governor and the chief men 
of the place to appear before him. Such was their alarm, that even 
before his summons arrived they had started to meet him, only to hear 
the Sultan's written orders that they should all be imprisoned and their 
city levelled with the ground, unless they surrendered the fort. The 
citizens, without attempting to argue or reply, at once admitted the 
Turks; the Genoese merchants were plundered and led on board; the 
names of all the citizens were taken down, about a hundred of their 
children carried off, and a Turkish guard placed in the fort. Thus on 
October 31, 1455, fell the Genoese colony of Foglia Nuova, the old 
possession of the Zaccaria and of the Cattaneo families, and then for a 
century a dependency of the maona of Chios. 

When Domenico returned home and learnt from his brother what 
had occurred, he sent Doukas to plead the case at Constantinople. The 
Lesbian envoy's arguments and appeals to justice were, however, all in 
vain ; Mohammed gave Domenico the alternative of paying 10,000 gold 
pieces or of war; and, when Doukas resisted this monstrous ultimatum, 
secretly despatched one of his servants to take Foglia Vecchia, which 
had been held by the Gattilusj of Lesbos ever since 1402 at least. This, 
their sole possession on the Asian main, was seized on December 24, 
1455. As soon as the Sultan received the news of its capture, he ordered 
Doukas to be sent away free and declared the question settled. Well 
might Domenico, after this experience, write urgently to Genoa for 
succour 1 . 

It was now the turn of the younger branch of the Gattilusj . Palamede 

1 Doukas, 326, 328-35; Kritoboulos, lib. 11. c. 5; Campofulgosi Exemplorum, 
526; 'IffTopla woXiTtK-fi KuvaravTivoviroXevs, 26; Ag. Giustiniani, Annali, 11. 384; 
Giornale Ligustico, v. 354. 



338 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

of iEnos had died in 1455 ; and, as his elder son Giorgio had predeceased 
him 1 in 1449, he had bequeathed his dominions to his second son, 
Dorino II, and to Giorgio's widow and her children. While Giorgio was 
still alive, his father had given him all his estates, except his Lesbian 
property, which was the share of Dorino II, and even after Giorgio's 
death, his widow and family had a preference in the old lord's will, as 
representing the first-born. No sooner, however, was Palamede dead 
than Dorino, defying the dictates alike of justice and prudence, seized 
the whole of the estate. In vain Giorgio's widow and his own advisers 
implored him not to drive her to appeal to the judgment-seat of the 
Sultan, his suzerain. Finding her arguments useless, she begged her 
uncle to lay her case before Mohammed, and that undiplomatic envoy, 
anxious to punish Dorino even at the price of annexation to Turkey, 
depicted the usurper as a faithless vassal, who was conspiring with the 
Italians, collecting arms, hiring soldiers, and preparing to increase the 
garrisons of JEnos and the two islands with the object of proclaiming his 
complete independence. His advocacy found a willing hearer, for 
Mohammed coveted JEnos because of its favourable situation, on the 
estuary of the Maritza, then navigable for a considerable distance, 
opposite the islands, of which it was the natural mart, and in close 
proximity to the lake of Jala Gol. Thanks to these natural advantages, 
to the river and lake fisheries, and above all to its valuable salt-beds, 
which supplied all Thrace and Macedonia, ^Enos was then a very rich 
city, from which Palamede had received 300,000 pieces of silver. It was 
true, that two-thirds of the proceeds of the salt-beds and of the other 
revenues were already handed over to the Sultan ; but it was suggested 
by the people of the neighbouring towns of Ipsala and Feredchik that 
the Gattilusj did not administer the salt-works honestly, while they gave 
refuge at ^nos to fugitive Turkish slaves. 

Mohammed resolved to act at once. Despite the terrible Balkan 
winter, which made havoc with his troops, he left Constantinople on 
January 24, 1456, and marched against ^Enos, while Junis with the 
fleet menaced it from the sea. Dorino was absent in Samothrace, 
whither he had gone to spend the winter in Palamede's castle ; and his 
subjects, thus left to themselves, made no attempt at resistance. They 
sent a deputation of leading citizens to the Sultan's headquarters at 
Ipsala, and surrendered the city on condition that no harm was done 
to its inhabitants. Mohammed received them kindly, granted some of 
their requests, and sent Mahmud Pasha back with them to take over 
the town. On the next day he came in person, carried off all the silver, 
1 Giornale Ligustico. v. 349-50. 



THE GATTILUSJ OF LESBOS 339 

gold and other valuables, which he found in Dorino's palace and plun- 
dered the houses of that prince's absent suite. Then, after a three days' 
stay, during which he organised the future administration of the place 
and appointed a certain Murad as its governor, he marched away, 
taking 150 children, the flower of the youth of Mnos, with him, and 
entrusting Tunis with the annexation of Samothrace and Imbros, the 
maritime dependencies of that city. 

The Turkish admiral, on his arrival at Imbros, summoned Krito- 
boulos the historian, whose personality and opinions were already well- 
known at the Turkish court, and made him governor in the room of 
Dorino's representative, at that time apparently Joannes Laskaris 
Rhyndakenos, whom he carried off on board. Meanwhile, a vessel had 
been despatched to Samothrace to fetch Dorino. But the latter, mis- 
trusting the admiral, as he well might, preferred to throw himself upon 
the mercy of the Sultan. He therefore manned his yacht, crossed over 
to iEnos, and thence proceeded to Adrianople. Mohammed received 
him, and promised to restore to him his islands; but the malicious 
admiral, indignant at what he considered a slight upon himself, per- 
suaded his sovereign to give Dorino instead some place on the mainland, 
on the ground that the islanders would not tolerate him and that he 
would be less able to plot at a distance from the sea. The Sultan there- 
upon changed his mind, and granted to the dethroned prince the district 
of Zichna in Macedonia. Dorino did not, however, long remain there; 
after slaying the Turkish officials, who were his guard of honour, he fled 
to Lesbos, and thence to Naxos, where he married his cousin, Elisabetta 
Crispo, daughter of the late Duke, Giacomo II, and settled down at the 
ducal court 1 . 

The Turkish annexation of Samothrace and Imbros and the 
appointment of a native governor had an immediate effect upon the 
neighbouring island of Lemnos. The Lemnians had had little more than 
two years of Gattilusian Government, and the experience had been 
unfortunate, for Domenico had entrusted their island to his brother 
Nicolo, against whose tyrannical conduct they made secret complaint 
to the Sultan, begging him to send one of his servants to rule over them. 
Mohammed gladly consented, and ordered Tunis' successor, Ismael, to 
sail for Lemnos, and install the amiable Hamza as governor. Before 
the Turks arrived, Domenico despatched a small force under Giovanni 

1 Kritoboulos, lib. 11. cc. 11-16; HI. 24; Doukas, 335; Chalkokondyles, 469; 
'Io-ropia irdKiriK-f), 25; Ecthesis Chronica, 17-18. Sa'd al-DIn (tr. Bratutti), 
Chronica dell' origine eprogressi di casa Ottomana, 11. 168; Hadji Khalfa, Cronologia 
historica (tr. Carli), 130; Hammer, Geschichte des osmanischen Reiches (ed. 1828), 
11. 20 n a ; Conze, Reise auf den Inseln, 82, PI. Ill, 11. 



340 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

Fontana and Spineta Colomboto with orders to induce the Lemnians 
by promises to return to their allegiance, and failing that to escort his 
brother, then encamped behind the walls of Palaiokastro, back to 
Lesbos. His emissaries, however, disobeying his orders, resorted to 
force, with the result that the islanders routed them with considerable 
loss, and those who escaped had to content themselves with conveying 
Nicolo home. When the Turkish admiral arrived, he commended the 
Lemnians, landed the new governor and returned, in May, 1456, with the 
Lesbian prisoners on board, to the Dardanelles. The news of what had 
occurred so infuriated Mohammed against Domenico, that when in 
August Doukas came with the annual tribute and begged for their 
release, he commanded their heads to be cut off, and only repented when 
they had actually mounted the scaffold, ordering that they should be 
sold, instead of being beheaded 1 . 

Of the seven possessions of the Gattilusj Lesbos now alone remained ; 
and Genoa, which a few months earlier had been mainly concerned 
lest rebellious citizens of the friendly Republic of Ancona should find 
shelter in Domenico's ports, now sent a ship with arms and 200 men to 
his aid, purchased cannon and powder on his behalf, and appealed to 
Pope Calixtus III and to Kings Alfonso V of Portugal and Henry VI 
of England to join in a crusade against the enemy which threatened 
him. Meanwhile, the Pope organised a fund for the redemption of the 
captives of the two Foglie 2 , plans were laid for the reconquest of the 
places lost, and a certain George Dromokaites, a noble Greek of Lemnos, 
offered to deliver that island and Imbros to Venice 3 . In the autumn of 
1456 a papal fleet under the command of Cardinal Scarampi, the 
Patriarch of Aquileia, appeared in the JEgean; and, after vain attempts 
to make Domenico refuse to pay his tribute and fight, annexed Lemnos 
without opposition, thanks to the influence of George Diplovatatzes 4 , 
the Greek archon of Kastro, occupied Samothrace, and took Thasos 
after an assault upon the harbour fort. Imbros was, however, saved by 
the diplomacy of Kritoboulos, its governor, who bribed and flattered 
the Cardinal's lieutenant, a certain "Count," whom we may identify 
with the Count of Anguillara. Garrisons were left in the three conquered 
islands, and the papal commander appointed governors in the name of 
the Holy Father — for these former possessions of the Gattilusj were not 

1 Doukas, 335-7; Chalkokondyles, 469. 

2 Giornale Ligustico, v. 353-5; Raynaldi Annales, x. 56, 59, 61-2; Reg. Vat. 
443. t 140. 

3 Sathas, Mvv^eia, I. 231. 

4 Guglielmotti, Storia della Marina Pontificia, 260 n; -tftneae Sylvii Opera... 
omnia (ed. Bale), 370. 



THE GATTILUSJ OF LESBOS 341 

restored to their lawful owners, but retained by the Holy See. Both the 
Venetians and the Catalans in vain begged the Pope to give them the 
three islands; but, in 1459, Pius II offered to consign them to the Bank 
of St George, which then managed the Genoese colonies, on condition 
that it would hold them as his vicar. The papal offer was, however, 
unanimously declined, from fear of offending the Sultan, who might 
then attack the Black Sea colonies, and from considerations of expense. 
Besides, Genoa could scarcely have accepted Lemnos, Thasos and 
Samothrace without a breach of good faith towards her own children 1 . 
The indignation which Mohammed felt at the capture of the 
Thracian islands, he vented upon Domenico. Although Doukas, the 
person most likely to know, expressly tells us that the lord of Lesbos 
had continued to pay his tribute, and he had certainly not profited by 
the losses of his suzerain, nevertheless the Sultan accused him of being 
entirely responsible for what had occurred and the Turcophil Krito- 
boulos insinuates that he and his brother Nicold, now resident in Lesbos, 
refused to send the usual tribute and harboured corsairs who preyed 
upon the opposite coast and plundered Turkish merchantmen. Domenico 
was, however, himself a sufferer from these raids, and had begged the 
Pope to excommunicate the pirates who had injured his subjects. But 
Mohammed was doubtless glad of an excuse for attacking Lesbos, and 
in August, 1457, sent Ismael, his admiral, with a large fleet against it. 
Ismael landed at Molivos, the scene of a former Turkish defeat; and, 
after ravaging all the countryside, besieged the castle. Such was the 
terror, inspired by the Turks, that a detachment of the papal fleet, 
which had been sent under a certain "Sergius," perhaps Raymond de 
Siscar, to the relief of Lesbos, at once weighed anchor for Chios. But 
the garrison of Molivos resisted with such courage, that the Turkish 
commander was forced to retire on August 9 with much loss, after 
venting his rage on the defenceless portions of the island. As soon as 
he had gone, the papal lieutenant returned, only to be greeted with 
reproaches by the justly indignant Gattilusj. The Pope, indeed, des- 
cribed Lesbos as "Our island" and calmly stated that he had only 
allowed its lord to retain it on condition that he recognised the authority 
of the Holy See. But Domenico wrote to the "Office of Mytilene" — 
a body which then existed in Genoa for the promotion of trade with 

1 Kritoboulos, lib. II. c. 23 ; Doukas, 338 ; Chalkokondyles, 469 ; the two last 
say that Imbroswas also captured in 1456 — a statement contradicted not only by 
Kritoboulos, but by the omission of Imbros from the list of papal islands in Atti, 
VI - 937 - 8 and in Raynaldi Annates, x. 88, which shows that the capture of the 
other three took place before Dec. 31, 1456. Pius II's letter (Nios'EWrivofivynuv, 
x. 113) shows that Imbros was "still under the rule of the infidels" in 1459. 



342 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

Lesbos — stating frankly that he could hold out no longer unless Genoa 
helped him, and threatening, that, in case of her refusal, he must 
perforce submit to some other rule. Meanwhile, he sent envoys to the 
Sultan to pay his tribute and obtain peace. The Bank of St George 
assured him that it would not desert him, and decided to appoint a 
committee of four shareholders in the Chian Chartered Company and 
two other Chians, who should raise 300 soldiers for the defence of Lesbos 
at the Bank's expense. A new duty on merchandise exported to Chios 
was to defray the equipment of these men ; their pay was to be provided 
by Domenico, if possible; or, if he could not find the ready money, he 
was to mortgage his property as security. Genoa was none too generous 
to her outpost in the Levant; she calculated her Lesbian policy by the 
maxims of the counting-house 1 . 

Domenico did not, however, live to fall by the hands of the Turks. 
He had a more sinister enemy in his own household. So long as Nicolo 
had been able to gratify his love of power at the expense of the unhappy 
Lemnians, he was harmless to his brother; but, when his intractable 
disposition had estranged the sympathies of the governed and caused 
the loss of that island, the two brothers were both restricted to Lesbos, 
the sole fragment of the Gattilusian dominions that remained. . Nicold 
was quarrelsome and ambitious ; he chafed at the inferior position which 
he occupied, and resolved to usurp Domenico's place. Accordingly, 
with the assistance of his cousin, Luchino, and a Genoese named 
Baptista (possibly the Baptista Gattilusio, who is described as a very 
influential person at Lesbos 14 years earlier 2 ), he deposed his elder 
brother towards the end of 1458, and threw him into prison, on the 
pretext that he was plotting to surrender the island to the Turks. 
Soon afterwards the usurper strangled his prisoner, having, according 
to one account, first cut off his arms so that he could no longer embrace 
the faithful wife who still clung to him 3 . Her father demanded from the 
murderer repayment of the sums which Domenico had received as her 
dowry and of those which he had subsequently borrowed; and the 
Doge of Genoa threatened the lord of Lesbos with the forcible inter- 
vention of the Republic unless he liquidated these debts 4 . The fate of 
the widow is unknown; more fortunate, however, in one respect than 

1 Doukas, 338; Kritoboulos, lib. in. c. 10; Atti, vi. 800; Raynaldi Annates, 
x. in ; Chalkokondyles, 519; Letter of Scarampi to Gaetani of Sept. 15, 1457, apud 
Guglielmotti, Storia della Marina Pontificia, 11. 280; Reg. Vat. 443, f. 113. 

2 Giornale Ligustico, in. 313-4. 

8 Doukas, 346; Chalkokondyles, 520, 528; Kritoboulos, lib. IV. c. 2; iEneae 
Sylvii Opera. ..omnia (ed. Bale), 355; Ag. Giustiniani, Annali, 11. 384; Magno, 
apud Hopf, Chroniques, 201. 

* Giornale Ligustico, v. 363-4. 



THE GATTILUSJ OF LESBOS 343 

other ill-fated heroines of Frankish Greece, she has given her name to 
the only modern poem, based upon the mediaeval history of Sappho's 
island, while her bust by Mino da Fiesole is in the National Museum at 
Florence 1 . 

The fratricide's position was, indeed, unenviable. The papal fleet 
had returned to Italy upon the death of Calixtus III in the summer 
of 1458, leaving the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes as vicar 
of the three Thracian islands, and the new Pope, Pius II, was too busy 
with the internal politics of that country to provide for their defence, 
which the Bank of St George did not think it prudent to undertake, 
but contented himself with founding a new Order of the Knights of 
St Mary of Bethlehem with its seat at Lemnos 2 . Thus inadequately 
defended by the Italians and terrified at the possible advent of the 
Turkish fleet, the islanders had no option but to submit to the Sultan. 
Lemnos set the example. In the winter of 1458-9, Kritoboulos, ever 
ready to do the work of the Turk, entered into secret negotiations with 
the Lemnian leaders for the surrender of their island. The Greeks were 
nothing loth, for they found the papal yoke irksome, as it must naturally 
have been to "schismatics," and above all they feared the vengeance of 
Mohammed. The Imbriote diplomatist thereupon wrote to Demetrios 
Palaiologos, the Despot of Mistra, suggesting that this was the moment 
to crave Lemnos and Imbros from the Sultan, which the Despot had 
already coveted as a peaceful retreat, and offering to drive the Italians 
out of the former island. Demetrios at once sent Matthew Asan, his 
brother-in-law, whose family was, as we saw, connected with Imbros, 
to ask Mohammed for the two islands. The Sultan consented, on con- 
dition that Demetrios paid 3000 gold pieces as tribute for them, and it 
then devolved upon Kritoboulos to carry out his mission. Evading 
the Italian guard-ships, he landed in Lemnos; his confederates at Kastro 
opened the gates of that fortress; the townsfolk of Kokkinos shut up 
the small Italian garrison in the public offices, till it surrendered un- 
conditionally, whereupon Kritoboulos told them that they could go or 
stay as they pleased, and sent their Calabrian commander with presents 
to Eubcea. The fort of Palaiokastro, the strongest in the island, alike 
by its natural position and its triple wall of huge stones, contained 
provisions for a year and was commanded by a young and resolute 
soldier, named Michele. When Michele received a summons to surrender, 
his sole reply was a sword, drawn in blood, and an invitation to Krito- 

1 J. Paulides, Mapta rareXot/f?/ in 'H 'EXXds rr\v pdpj3iToy. Rhodokanakes, 
' lovffTtviavai — X/os, I. 1 15 n. 101 ; 11. 107. 
8 Raynaldi Annales, x. 179-80. 



344 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

boulos to come and take the castle by force, if he were a man. He could 
not, however, trust the Greeks in the town below, whose vines and fields 
Kritoboulos was careful to respect ; and, when he saw the superior forces 
drawn up against him, he begged for three months' grace, till he had 
time to communicate with the Grand Master at Rhodes, the papal vicar 
of the islands. Later on, he surrendered Palaiokastro for 1000 gold 
pieces, and in 1460, after the Turkish conquest of the Morea, Lemnos 
and Imbros were bestowed by the Sultan upon the dispossessed Despot, 
Demetrios. 

The other two islands shared the fate of Lemnos. In the autumn 
of 1459, Zaganos, Ismael's successor in the command of the Turkish 
fleet, captured both Thasos and Samothrace, cutting to pieces the Catalan 
garrison placed by Scarampi in the former, and removing Thasians and 
Samothracians alike to recolonise Constantinople. In the following 
year the Sultan bestowed these two islands also, together with JEnos, 
upon Demetrios Palaiologos, who thus became the heir of the Gattilusj 
in Thrace and the four maritime dependencies 1 . In vain, Pius II urged 
Rhyndakenos, the former prefect of the Gattilusj, to release Samothrace 
from its captivity. In vain, he gave Turkish Imbros to Alexander Asan 2 . 

About the time that Lemnos fell, the learned Leonardo of Chios, 
who had held the Archiepiscopal see of Lesbos since 1444 and was on 
very intimate terms with the reigning family, was sent to ask the aid 
of Christendom for that sole remaining island. The Genoese Govern- 
ment early in 1459 appealed to the Christian Powers and more especially 
to Charles VII of France, whose viceroy, the Duke of Calabria, was then 
administering Genoa, reminding them of the recent attack of the Turks 
upon Lesbos, of the exiguous resources of its lord, and of the impossibility 
in which the exhausted Genoese now found themselves of supporting 
him without external assistance, as they had done before, against 
another and more serious invasion. The fall of Lesbos, it was added, 
might encourage the Sultan to direct his arms against Italy. Unfortu- 
nately this appeal met with no response. Indeed, one of the Christian 
Powers, England, was at that moment greatly incensed with the 
Gattilusj, owing to the piracies of Giuliano, a celebrated corsair of that 
family, whose depredations on the merchants of Bristol had caused the 
arrest of all the Genoese in the country and the confiscation of their 
goods. Accordingly, the Genoese Government, which had been glad to 

1 Kritoboulos, lib. 111. cc. 14, 15, 17, 18, 24; Chalkokondyles, 469-70, 483, 494; 
-SSneae Sylvii O^era, 370; Magno, apud Hopf, Chroniques, 200 (confused); Phrantzes, 

413-4- 

* Raynaldi Annates, x. 285-6; TSios 'EWr/votw-nfito", x. 113-5. 



THE GATTILUSJ OF LESBOS 345 

make use of him as a cousin, when it seemed convenient, now repudiated 
him as a Greek and an alien. The proceedings of this illegitimate des- 
cendant of Francesco II formed the subject of letters to Henry VI, to 
the Chancellor and the Privy Seal, to the Archbishops of Canterbury 
and York, to John Viscount Beaumont, the Great Chamberlain, and 
Humphry Duke of Buckingham. Indeed, it was owing to Giuliano 
Gattilusio, that "the office of English affairs" was founded at Genoa 1 . 

The new lord of Lesbos, as one Christian state after another fell, 
became more urgent in his requests for help, for he knew that even 
the payment of tribute would not save him. In 1460 he begged that 
the former practice might be revived of having a board of four com- 
missioners in Chios, who could send 300 men to the relief of Lesbos, 
whenever the Sultan was preparing to attack it. It was decided to 
re-constitute this board, but not to impose any new duty for defraying 
the expense, and a certain number of men from Camogli on the Riviera 
di Levante were hired for the defence of Lesbos. Towards the close of 
1461, he wrote imploring the Republic not to forget him in his distress. 
But, although the French had then been expelled from Genoa, and 
Lodovico de Campo-fregoso, husband of Nicolo's first-cousin, Ginevra 
Gattilusio, was once more Doge, all the reply that he received was fair 
words, a futile assertion that in the season of 1462 the Turk would be 
occupied by land rather than at sea, and a promise to promote a good 
understanding between Lesbos and the Chartered Company of Chios, 
which was apt to forget the common danger in the private quarrels of 
its members — an allusion to the still outstanding dispute between 
Nicolo and Paride Longo. Weakened by faction at home, divided by 
rival interests abroad, the Genoese allowed Lesbos to succumb 2 . 

Mohammed's conquest of Serbia, Greece, and Trebizond and his 
campaign in Wallachia had given Nicolo a brief respite, which he had 
wisely employed in strengthening the fortifications of his island-capital 
by deepening the moats and heightening the ramparts. To this may 
be referred his Latin inscription 3 in the castle, dated 1460. But on 
September 1, 1462, the long-threatened Turkish fleet hove in sight under 
the command of Mahmud Pasha, himself a Greek, while the Sultan at 
the head of the land forces advanced across the plain of Troy, the sight 
of which is said to have inspired him with the belief that he was the 
chosen avenger of the Trojans upon the descendants of their conquerors. 

1 Giornale Ligustico, in. 180-1 n; v. 352-3, 355-61, 363; Atti, v. 429; Rymer, 
Faedera, xi. 418, 441. 

2 Atti, vii. part 1. 77-8, 108; Giornale Ligustico, v. 364-6; Doukas, 341. 
8 Bvfavrts, II. 266; Nios'EWrii'OfWTJuan', vii. 342-3; VIII. 94-5, 361. 



346 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

Mohammed had no difficulty in finding plausible excuses for his invasion 
of Lesbos. The island had become a receptacle of Catalan pirates, who 
issued thence to ravage the Turkish coast and returned thither to divide 
their prisoners, assigning a goodly proportion to their patron. A 
reluctance to pay his tribute and a secret understanding with the 
Italians formed further accusations against him, and Mohammed chose 
to regard himself as the instrument of the Almighty for the punishment 
of the Lesbian fratricide. 

The great Turkish fleet, variously estimated at 67, no, 125, 150, 
and even 200 sail, cast anchor in the old harbour of St George, whither 
Nicolo's envoys went to enquire the justification of this attack upon an 
island, whose lords had paid, ever since the death of Dorino I seven 
years before, an annual tribute of 7000 gold ducats of Venice. Mahmud 
replied, that his master wanted the castle and island of Mytilene — a 
demand repeated by the Sultan himself, when he crossed over from the 
mainland, with the addition that he would grant Nicold a sufficient 
estate elsewhere. Nicolo replied, that he could not yield, except to 
force, whereupon Mohammed allowed himself to be persuaded by 
Mahmud to return to the opposite coast, lest the Venetian fleet, then at 
Chios, to which Nicolo had appealed for help, should arrive and shut 
him up in the island. Thereupon the Greek renegade began the siege of 
the capital, whose walls contained more than 20,000 non-combatants, 
men, women and children, and were garrisoned by over 5000 soldiers, 
including 70 knights of Rhodes and no Catalan mercenaries from 
Chios. 

After four days' skirmishing, which resulted in a number of the 
Latins being cut off from the city and cut up b}' the Turks, the besiegers 
landed six large cannon, whose shot weighed more than 700 lbs. apiece, 
and planted them in favourable positions for bombarding the city — 
three at the soap works only a stone's throw from the walls, one at 
St Nicholas', another at St Bonne's 1 near the place of public execution, 
and the sixth in the suburbs opposite a barbican tower, defended by a 
monk and a knight of Rhodes. Protected by a barrier of large stones 
from the fire of the besieged, the Turkish batteries did great execution. 
The tower of the Virgin and the adjacent walls were pounded till they 
were nothing but a mass of ruins; the cannon of St Nicholas' riddled the 
tower of the harbour, built long before by a Gallego named Pedro de 
Laranda, so that no one durst defend it, and it fell on the eighth day 
into the hands of the Turks, whose red flags floated from its riven battle- 
ments. The besiegers then concentrated their efforts on the lower castle, 
1 S. Cali (Ko\i7, the Greek equivalent of "Bonne"). 



THE GATTILUSJ OF LESBOS 347 

called Melanoudion, and commanded by Luchino Gattilusio, who had 
helped Nicolo to the throne, and whose neglect caused the loss of this 
important position. It was proposed by the wiser members of his staff 
to set fire to the lower castle, as they had already burnt to the water's 
edge their ships in the harbour, rather than that it should be taken by 
the Turks and used as a base for attacking the upper citadel. But 
Luchino boasted that he could hold the fort, and actually held it for five 
days, although the Turks once climbed the walls and carried off in 
triumph an Aragonese flag which had been planted there by the Catalan 
corsairs. At last a force of 20,000 men carried Melanoudion by storm, 
drove the defenders "like locusts" into the upper castle, and destroyed 
all that they found. Terrified and breathless, with his naked sword in 
his hand, Luchino rushed into the midst of the Italians, who had taken 
refuge in the upper castle, and his narrative struck them with such terror 
that they resolved to surrender. According to one account, Luchino 
and the commander of the city had intentionally made further resistance 
impossible by betraying to Mahmud the weak points of the defences, 
and by then urging Nicolo to yield and to save their heads and property. 
The panic was increased by one huge mortar, whose heavy projectiles 
destroyed houses and the women inside and drove the terrified defenders 
from the walls to take shelter from a similar fate. Heavy sums had to be 
offered, to induce men to repair the breaches; while many, in their 
despair, flew to drink, and broke into the vast stores of wine and pro- 
visions, which, if the garrison had been properly led, would have enabled 
Mytilene to resist a whole year's siege. But, though well provided with, 
food and engines of war, the place lacked a brave and experienced soldier, 
who would have inspired the garrison with enthusiasm. Another council 
was held, and two envoys were sent to inform Mahmud, that the in- 
habitants were ready to become his master's vassals, if their heads and 
remaining property were guaranteed. The Turkish commander drew up 
a memorandum of the terms in writing, and swore by his girded sword 
and his sovereign's head that no harm should befall them. The Sultan, 
on hearing the news, re-crossed to Lesbos, and a janissary was ordered 
to conduct Nicold to his presence. Thither the last Latin lord of Lesbos 
proceeded with two horsemen, kissed the feet of his new master and 
tearfully handed to Mohammed the keys of the city, which the Gattilusj 
had held for well-nigh eleven decades. At the same time he pleaded that 
he had never violated his oaths, never harboured Turkish slaves, but 
had at once restored them to their owners; and, if he had perforce 
received pirates to save his own land from their ravages, he had never 
furnished them with the means of injuring that of the Turks. It was, 



348 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

he added, the fault of his subjects that he had not accepted the Sultan's 
generous offer at once, and " I now," he concluded with tears, " surrender 
the city and island, begging that my lord may reward me for my good 
disposition in the past towards him." Mohammed censured him for his 
past ingratitude, but promised that it should not be remembered against 
him. Forthwith a subashi and two men took possession of the upper 
castle, whence the Frankish garrison was removed but no one else was 
allowed to issue. The conquerors celebrated their success by a Bac- 
chanalian orgie and by burning the still standing houses of Melanoudion, 
while the Sultan, setting on one side the chief men among the Franks, 
bade saw asunder with exquisite cruelty some 300 of the others as pirates 
in one of the suburbs. Thus, it was said, he had literally carried out their 
conditions, that their heads should be spared. 

The other fortresses in the island — Molivos (or Augerinos), the 
castle of the two SS. Theodores, and Eresos — now surrendered; for the 
wretched Nicol6, by the Sultan's commands, sent a notary with 
instructions under his own seal, ordering his officers to open their gates. 
The countryfolk were left undisturbed, but any suspects found there 
were removed; and later on, one or two of these places were destroyed, 
and their inhabitants transported, like those of the Foglie, to Con- 
stantinople. On the second day after the occupation of the capital, a 
herald summoned all the citizens to file past the Sultan's pavilion one 
by one. On September 17 the sorrowful procession took place; three 
clerks noted down the names of each, of the most pleasing maidens and 
the children several hundreds were picked out, and the rest of the 
population was divided into three classes — the worthless were left 
behind in the city, others were sold by public auction on the beach, and 
others again driven on board ship like so many sheep, to await slavery 
and fill the gaps at Constantinople. But of the 10,000 and more who 
were shipped from Lesbos a part perished on the overcrowded ships ; and 
with brutal, if business-like precision, all disputes as to the ownership 
of these human cattle were obviated by cutting off the right ear of each 
corpse, before it was flung into the deep, and removing the victim's 
name from the list. Some 200 janissaries and 300 infantry were left to 
garrison the city under Ali Bestami, a man of great courage and learning. 
The fleet, bearing Nicold, Luchino, the Archbishop Leonardo, and 
the rest of the captives, reached Constantinople on October 16, where 
some of them received houses, or sites in one quarter of the city. The 
two Gattilusj, however, were soon afterwards imprisoned in the "tower 
of the French." Mohammed disliked Nicold for what he had done in 
the past, and the chronique scandaleuse of the capital attributed his 



THE GATTILUSJ OF LESBOS 349 

feelings to the fact that a lad attached to the Turkish court had fled 
to Lesbos, abandoned Islam, and become the favourite of Nicolo. After 
the fall of Lesbos, this youth was sent as a present to the Sultan, and 
recognised by his comrades, who told their master and thus rekindled 
his indignation. The two prisoners, to save their lives and regain their 
freedom, offered to abjure Christianity, and were duly circumcised, 
gorgeously apparelled by the Sultan, and set free. But their liberty did 
not last long; they were again imprisoned, and executed, Nicolo being 
strangled with a bow-string, as he had strangled his own brother. His 
lovely sister Maria, widow of the Emperor Alexander of Trebizond, 
whom Mohammed had previously captured in Kolchis, entered the 
seraglio ; her only son became one of the Conqueror's favourite pages. 

Thus ended the rule of the Gattilusj in Lesbos. Had Nicold been 
bolder, had Genoa given more help, had Venice not played the part of 
a spectator, the island might have been saved, or at least its capture 
postponed. At the time of the siege, Vettor Capello was at Chios, and, 
in answer to Nicolo's appeal, actually set out with 29 galleys towards 
Lesbos; but, although he could have burnt the Turkish fleet in the 
absence of its crews, he durst not disobey his instructions, which were 
to avoid giving any offence to the Sultan. Even after the capture of 
Mytilene, when the people of the castle of the two SS. Theodores begged 
him to accept them as Venetian subjects, he refused. Later on, when war 
broke out with Turkey, Venice repented her inaction, and tried in vain 
to make reparation for it. Even Genoa took the " calamity of Mytilene " 
with philosophy 1 . 

Christendom did not, however, abandon all hope of recovering what 
the Gattilusj had lost. The learned Archbishop of Lesbos, a second time 
the prisoner of the Turks, wrote to Pius II, as he had written to Nicholas V 
after the capture of Constantinople, a letter describing the sufferings 
of his flock and begging the Pope to make peace in Italy and war upon 
"the Cerberus" of the East. Pius responded by planning a new crusade, 
and the Genoese suggested that its first stage should be the recapture 
of Lesbos 2 . The Pope's death ended his plans; but early in 1464 a 

1 Leonardi Chiensis De Lesbo a Turds capta, apud Hopf, Chroniques, 359-66 
(an eye-witness); Magno, ibid. 201-2; Doukas, 345-6, 512; Chalkokondyles, 518 
-21, 523-9, 553; Kritoboulos, lib. iv. cc. n-14; Phrantzes, 94; Malipiero, Annali 
Veneti, in Archivio Storico Italiano, vu. 11; Pii II Co mmentarii, 244; Atti, vn. parti. 
159-60, 190; Giornale Ligustico, v. 366-7; Sabellici Histories Rerum Venetarum 
(ed. 1556), 867, 873; Cambini and Spandugino apud Sansovino, Historia Universale 
dell' Origine et Imperio de' Turchi (ed. 1573), &. 156, 191; 'laropla iroKiTucfi, 26; 
Bosio, Dell' Historia delta sacra religione di San Giovanni, 1. 196; The Chronicles of 
Rabbi Joseph ben Joshua (tr. Bialloblotzky), 289. 

8 Atti, vu. part 1. 227, 242, 244. 



350 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

Venetian fleet under Luigi Loredano occupied Lemnos with the assis- 
tance of a Moreote pirate, who bore the great name of Comnenos. This 
man had descended upon the island some time before with two galleys, 
had captured it from the officials who were governing it for Demetrios 
Palaiologos, and had established his authority over the citadel and the 
old city of Lemnos. But the pirate saw that he was not strong enough 
to hold his conquest single-handed, and therefore transferred it to the 
maritime Republic, which thence easily extended her sway over the rest 
of the island. Venice retained Lemnos for 15 years, and five Venetian 
nobles successively administered, with the title of "Rector," this 
distant outpost 1 . In April of the same year Orsato Giustiniano, Lore- 
dano's successor, laid siege to Mytilene, but, after six weeks spent before 
the walls and two battles, in which the Venetians sustained heavy losses, 
on the approach of the Turkish fleet withdrew to Eubcea with all the 
Christian islanders whom he could convey, onty returning to SS. Theo- 
dores to remove a second cargo. Giustiniano died of grief at his failure, 
and the Turkish sway over Lesbos, despite three subsequent attempts, 
had never been broken till the Greek fleet took the island on November 
22, 1912 2 . 

Two years later Vettor Capello obtained Imbros, Thasos, and Samo- 
thrace for Venice 3 , and Bernardo Natale was sent as Rector to the last- 
named island. Imbros was, however, retaken by the Turks in 1470, 
owing to the unpopularity and incapacity of that official 4 . Lemnos 
resisted more than one Turkish attack ; in view of its importance as a 
station for the fleet, Venice sent 200 stradioti to settle there, restored 
the walls of Kokkinos, and strengthened the fortifications of Palaio- 
kastro, while Mohammed made its cession a condition of peace. At last 
this island, then inhabited by 6000 souls, or twice the population of 
Imbros, after having won romantic fame by the exploits of its heroic 
defender, the virgin Manilla, was ceded to Turkey by the peace 5 of 
1479. At the same time, Samothrace with its 200 islanders, and Thasos, 

1 Sabellici op. cit. 883; Malipiero in Arch. Stor. It., vn. 28; Sathas, Mpy/ieca, vi 
93, 97; Magno apud Hopf, Chroniques, 204; Chalkokondyles, 565; Phrantzes, 415 

2 Sabellici op. cit. 885-6; Malipiero, I.e. ; Sathas, Mvt)fieia, 1. 244, vi. 98 
Phrantzes, I.e.; Sanudo and Navagiero apud Muratori, R.I.S., xxn. 1170; xxm 
1123, 1132; Kritoboulos, lib. v. c. 7; Sa'd al-DIn, 11. 223; Cepio, De P. Mocenigi 
rebus gestis, 30. 

3 Sathas, op. cit. vi. 99; Malipiero, 37; Sabellicus, 890; Navagiero, 1125; 
Secreta, xxn. f. 186; Magno, 204. 

4 Malipiero, 50; Sanudo and Navagiero in R.I.S., xxu. 1190, xxm. 1128; 
Magno, 206; Phrantzes, 448. 

8 Magno, 205, 208; Sathas, Mpi^eta, v. 48; Malipiero, 50, 59, 67, 107, 121; 
Sanudo, 1190, 1210; Kritoboulos, lib. v. c. 15; Miklosich und Miiller, Acta, in. 297; 
Mot'EWrivofwrinui', VI. 299-318. 



THE GATTILUSJ OF LESBOS 351 

neither of them mentioned since their capture in 1466, were probably 
surrendered, and the whole of the Gattilusj's former realm was thus 
irrevocably Turkish till 191 2, with the exception of the Venetian 
occupation of Lemnos in 1656/7, and of the Russian occupation of part 
of that island in 1770 — for iEnos, although laid in ashes by Nicolo 
da Canale in 1468, had not been occupied by the Venetians, and Foglia 
Vecchia had repulsed his attack 1 . 

Even after this apparently final Turkish conquest, one member of 
the family continued to cherish the remote hope that one day his 
ancestral dominions might be reconquered. Dorino II of jEnos was still 
alive at Genoa, and in 1488, as the sole representative of both branches 
of the Gattilusj — for Nicolo II had left no children — granted to his 
brother-in-law, Marco d'Oria, all his rights to their possessions in the 
Levant. It was agreed, that, should Lesbos be recovered — as was 
hoped, by the aid of the King of France — Dorino should nevertheless 
have his father's former estates in that island, unless ^Enos, Foglia 
Vecchia, Thasos and Samothrace were also recovered, in which case he 
should be entitled to iEnos, Thasos and Samothrace alone and have no 
claim to the Lesbian property 2 . Dorino II died childless, the last 
legitimate male of his race ; but the pirate Giuliano, whose depredations 
continued to vex the Genoese Government 3 , had progeny. Among his 
descendants were perhaps the Hector Gattilusio 4 whom we find receiving 
a small pension from Pope Innocent VIII, and the Stefano Gattilusio 5 , 
who was bishop of Melos in 1563. Other Gattilusj occur at Naxos in 
the seventeenth century, and the name is reported to exist still not 
only there but at Smyrna and Athens 6 , although the family is extinct at 
Genoa. Nine years ago a London lady claimed the Byzantine Empire as 
a descendant of the Palaiologoi through the Gattilusj. The family church 
at Sestri Ponente 7 was ceded by Dorino II to two other persons in 1483. 

The rule of the Gattilusj has been described by a modern Greek 
writer as more favourable to his fellow-countrymen than that of other 
Frankish rulers. Chalkokondyles 8 praises the excellence of their adminis- 
tration, and one alone of them, the fratricide Nicolo, seems to have 
been unpopular. Hellenized by intermarriage with the Imperial houses 
of Byzantium and Trebizond, and proud to quarter the arms of the 

1 Malipiero, 44; Sabellicus, 895; Cambini apud Sansovino, f. 158; Phrantzes, 
447; Sa'd al-DIn, n. 244 ; Hammer, 11. 98 n» ; Piacenza, L'Egeo Redivivo, 439. 

2 Giornaie Ligustico, v. 370—2. 

3 Ibid. v. 367-70. 

4 Gottlob, Aus der Camera Apostolica, 293. 
8 Revue de I'Orient latin, 1. 537-9. 

6 Anonymous, 01 TareXov^oi iv Maflip, 70 n 1 . 

7 Atti, xxxiv. 322, 326, 345. 8 P. 521. 



352 THE GENOESE COLONIES IN GREECE 

Palaiologoi with their own, they spoke Greek in the first generation, 
and thus early came to understand the feelings of their subjects, who 
scarcely regarded them as foreigners, certainly not as foreign conquerors. 
Two extant Greek letters of Dorino I and Domenico attest their 
familiarity with the language of their people. Moreover, they were not 
so much feudal lords as prosperous merchant princes, whose wealth is 
attested not only by the sums lent by Francesco II and Nicolo I, but 
by the extensive coinage of the Lesbian line. Coins of at least five of 
the lords of Mytilene are extant, while Dorino I, whose appanage was 
Foglia Vecchia before he succeeded to Lesbos, struck money for that 
emporium also 1 . Yet these Genoese nobles took an interest alike in 
history, literature, and archaeology. Kanaboutzes wrote his commentary 
on Dionysios for Palamede ; in 1446, the year of Cyriacus' visit, Leonardo 
of Chios, the most famous of Lesbian divines, who owed his appoint- 
ment to the patronage of Maria Gattilusio and was selected to accompany 
the papal legate, Cardinal Isidore, to Constantinople 2 , wrote at the 
bidding of Dorino I's brother, Luchino, his Treatise concerning true 
nobility against Poggio. This quaint tract took the form of a Platonic 
dialogue with Luchino in the presence of the Duke of the Archipelago, 
and gives us a pretty picture of Lesbian society at the time. "The 
prince," we read, "protects religion; his senate is wise, his soldiers 
distinguished, and he lives in splendid state among his lovely halls, his 
gardens, his fish-ponds, and his groves." The drama, if we may argue 
from the presence of an actor named Theodoricus, was patronised by 
Dorino 3 . Life in Lesbos must therefore have been pleasant, if it had 
not been lived on the edge of the Turkish volcano. But even in the last 
years of the Gattilusj the numbers of the Latins cannot have been 
large, for Calixtus III united the Archiepiscopal see of Methymna with 
that of Mytilene, and in 1456 the revenues which Leonardo derived 
from both together did not exceed 150 gold florins 4 . 

The Genoese sway over Lesbos and the Thracian islands has gone 
the way of all Latin rule in the Levant, of which it was so favourable 
a specimen. A few inscriptions, a few coats of arms, here and there 
a ruined fortress, still remind the now emancipated Greeks of their last 
Italian rulers. 

1 Schlumberger, Nutnismatique de I'Orient latin, 436-43; SuppUment, 18-19; 
Pis XVI, XVII, XXI; Lampros, Catalogue, 11. 305; NVos '^W-qvotivfm.uv, VI. 41, 
491-2; vii. 87-8. 

2 Fontana, Sacrum Theatrum Dominicanum, 81; Scriptores Ovdinis Presdi- 
catorum (ed. Echard), 1. 816-7; Rovetta, Bibliotheca Provincice Lombardice Sacri 
Ordinis Prcedicatorum, 76; Bullarium Ovdinis Fr. Preedicatorum (ed. Bremond). 
ill. 210-11, 236, 336. 

* De vera nobilitate, 53, 55, 82-3. * Reg. Vat. 443, ff. 11 1-2. 



THE GATTILUSJ OF LESBOS 



353 



Gattilusj . 

I. Lesbos (1355-1462). 

Francesco I 1355, July 17. 

II 1384, August 6. 
[Nicol6 I of iEnos regent 1384-7.] 
Jacopo 1404, October 26. 
[Nicold of ^Enos regent 1404-9.] 
Dorino I i*f|. 
[Domenico regent 1440-55.] 
Domenico 1455, June 30. 
Nicol6 II 1458-62. 
[Turkish: 1462-1912; Greek: 
1912, November 22.] 
II. Thasos (c. 1434 or ? c. 1419-55) 
? Jacopo c. 1419. 
Dorino I c. 1434. 
[Oberto de' Grimaldi governor 

I434-] 

Francesco III 1444-e. 1449. 

Dorino I c. 1449. 

[Domenico regent 1449-55.] 

Domenico 1455, June 30-Oc- 
tober. 

[Turkish: 1455-6; 1459-60; 
1479-1912; Papal: 1456-9; 
Demetrios Palaiologos : 1460- 
6; Venetian : 1466-79 ; Greek : 
1 91 2, October 30.] 
III. Lemnos (1453-6). 

Dorino I 1453 (castle of Kok- 
kinos from 1440). 

[Domenico regent 1453-5.] 

Domenico 1455-6. 

[Nicold II governor 1455-6.] 

[Turkish: 1456; 1459-60; 1479- 
1656; 1657-1912; Papal: 
(autumn) 1456-8; Demetrios 
Palaiologos: 1460-4; Com- 
nenos 1464; Venetian: 1464- 



79; 1656-7; Russian (except 
Palaiokastro) : 1770; Greek: 
1912, October 22.] 
IV. Foglia Vecchia (c. 1402-55). 
With Lesbos: c. 1402-1455, 
December 24. (For several 
years c. 1423-8 appanage of 
Dorino I) [Turkish: 1455- 
1919; Greek: 1919- .] 

V. ^Enos (c. 1384-1456). 
Nicold I c. 1384. 
Palamede 1409. 
Dorino II 1455-6. 
[Turkish: 1456-60; 1468-1912; 

I 9 I 3» July 15; Demetrios 
Palaiologos: 1460-8; Bul- 
garian: 1912, Nov. 29-1913, 
July 15; Turkish: 1913-20; 
Greek: 1920- .] 

VI. Samothrace (c. 1431-56). 
Palamede c. 1431. 

[Joannes Laskaris Rhyndakenos 
governor 1444-55.] 

Dorino II 1455-6. 

[Turkish: 1456; 1459-60; 1479- 
191 2; Papal: (autumn) 1456- 
9 ; Demetrios Palaiologos : 
1460-6; Venetian: 1466-79; 
Greek: 19 12, November 1.] 
VII. Imbros (1453-6). 

Palamede 1453. 

Dorino II 1455-6. 

[Joannes Laskaris Rhyndakenos 
governor.] 

[Turkish: 1456-60; 1470-1912; 
Demetrios Palaiologos : 1460- 
6 ; Venetian : 1 466-70 ; Greek : 
1912, October 30-1914 ; Turk- 
ish : 191 4-20 ; Greek : 1 920- .] 



Genealogical Tree: 
(The rulers of Lesbos are denoted by Roman, those of Mnos by Arabic numerals.) 

Domenico 



(I) Francesco I = Maria Palaiologina 

I 
(II) Francesco II 



(1) Nicolo I 



(III) Jacopo 



(2) Palamede 



(IV) Dorino I 



(3) Dorino II Francesco III (V) Domenico (VI) Nicol6 II 

23 



V. TURKISH GREECE 

1460 — 1684 

From the second half of the fifteenth down to the close of the 
seventeenth century, a large portion of what now forms the kingdom 
of Greece formed an integral part of the Turkish Empire, and from the 
second part of the sixteenth century some of the Ionian Islands and a 
few of the Cyclades were alone exempt from the common lot of Hellas. 
Thus, for the first time since the Frank conquest, a dead level of 
uniformity, broken only by the privileges of certain communities, 
prevailed in place of the feudal principalities, whose fortunes occupied 
the annals of the previous two centuries and more. Greece, so often 
divided against herself, had found unity in the death of her independence ; 
and the victorious Turks, like the conquering Romans, had obliterated 
the divisions and the liberties of the Greek States at the same moment. 
Once more the whole Greek world, with few exceptions, depended upon 
a foreign ruler, whose capital was at Constantinople, and whose officials, 
like those of the Byzantine Emperors, administered the affairs of his 
Greek subjects. There is, however, a considerable difference between 
the two periods into which the Turkish government of Greece was 
divided. During the first period, down to the Venetian conquest of the 
Morea, towards the close of the seventeenth century, Turkey was a 
flourishing and conquering Power — a danger to Europe, and a strong 
State. During the second period, from the Turkish re-conquest of the 
Morea down to the close of the War of Independence, Turkey was 
declining, slowly but surely, in all save the one art which she has never 
lost even in her political dotage, the art of fighting. For, like the Roman 
and the Briton, the Turk has ever been a good soldier, but, unlike those 
two great unintellectual peoples, many of whose qualities he shares, he 
has never been a good administrator; even when his arrangements have 
been excellent in theory, as they often are, they have frequently proved 
to be miserable in practice. 

The political organisation of Greece under the Turks was indeed 
comparatively simple. Before the conquest of the ^Egean Islands all 
their Greek dominions were comprised within the jurisdiction of the 
beglerbeg ("lord of lords") of Rumili, who resided at Sofia 1 , and were 
divided into seven sandjaks, so called from the "flag" which was the 
1 Jirefcek, Geschichte der Bulgaren, 449. 

23—2 



356 TURKISH GREECE 

emblem of each large territorial sub-division, and which recalled the 
essentially military character of all Turkish arrangements. These seven 
sandjaks, after the year 1470, when the capture of Euboea rounded off 
the Greek conquests of Mohammed II, were Salonika, Negroponte, 
Trikkala, Lepanto, Karlili, Joannina, and the Morea. Negroponte 
included not only the island of Euboea, but also Bceotia, and Attica. 
Its capital was Chalkis, and Athens, Thebes and Livadia, were among 
its principal cities. Karlili comprehended iEtolia and Akarnania, as 
well as Prevesa, and derived its name from Carlo II Tocco, whose 
dominions there had fallen to the Turks. The capital of the Morea 
fluctuated between Corinth, Leondari, and Mistra, down to 1540, when 
the capture of Nauplia from the Venetians made that place the residence 
of the Turkish Pasha. In 1574, when the conclusion of the war of Cyprus 
had practically extinguished Latin rule in the Levant, a different 
arrangement obtained. Salonika, Trikkala, Joannina, Patras and Mistra 
formed five sandjaks under the beglerbeg of Rumili; while the capitan 
pasha, in his capacity of beglerbeg "of the sea," ruled over the seven 
insular sandjaks of Lemnos, Lesbos, Rhodes, Chios, the former Duchy 
of Naxos (except a few islands bestowed on the favourite Sultana), 
Santa Maura (with Prevesa), and Negroponte, besides the three maritime 
sandjaks of Nauplia, Lepanto and Ka valla. And, after the conquest of 
Crete, three more sandjaks, named from Candia, Rethymno, and Canea, 
were carved out of "the great Greek island 1 ." 

Each sandjak was in turn sub-divided into a number of cazas, or 
sub-districts, of which there were twenty-three in the Morea. It is now 
supposed that from 1470 to about 1610, Athens was the chief place of 
a caza of the sandjak of Negroponte. Just as each sandjak was governed 
by a Pasha or sandjak-beg, so each caza was administered by a lesser 
magnate known as a voivode or subashi, who was assisted by a judge, 
or cadi. 

True to the Turkish feudal system, which had been organised in 
Thessaly at the end of the fourteenth century, and extended to Akarnania 
and JEtdlia. on the fall of the Tocchi, Mohammed II distributed Central 
Greece and the Morea in fiefs to his veteran warriors. These fiefs were 
of two sorts : the larger fief, known as a zaimet, entailed upon the holder 
the obligation to provide fifteen horsemen; the smaller, called a timar, 
involved the equipment of only two 2 . The standard of the sandjak-beg 
formed the rallying point of all these feudal chiefs and their horsemen 
in case of need. About the middle of the seventeenth century the whole 

1 Zinkeisen, Geschichte des Osmanischen Retches, in. 132, 319. 
1 Hopf, in Ersch und Gruber's Encyklopadie, lxxxvi. 189. 






TURKISH GREECE 357 

area of the present Greek kingdom on the mainland, including Negro- 
ponte but without Macedonia and Thrace, was portioned out into 267 
zaimets and 1625 titnars, so that they would represent a force of 7255 
horsemen. 

Crete, after its conquest, was similarly parcelled out into seventeen 
zaimets and 2550 timars, which would produce 5355 cavalry. At first 
the timariot system was not in the nature of an hereditary aristocracy. 
The timars were originally life-rents only, conferred for services rendered 
to the Sultan upon veteran warriors, who might be called upon to appear 
with their retainers at the call of their liege lord. In the golden age of 
Turkish administration — if such a phrase can be applied to any Turkish 
institution — the son of timariot was entrusted with a large fief such as 
his sire had held only after he had proved his capacity as the holder of 
a small one. But, like all political systems, the Turkish began by making 
capacity the sole test of office, and ended by making office the reward 
of favourites. Gradually the beglerbeg was allowed to bestow these fiefs, 
which had formerly been in the Sultan's gift, and that official naturally 
rewarded his own creatures, just as a British Prime Minister, allowed 
by weak or preoccupied monarchs to dispense patronage at his will, 
bestows the honours of the peerage and the baronetage upon subservient, 
or perhaps recalcitrant, supporters. Thus, in the second half of the 
seventeenth century, it was the custom of Romania that, if a holder 
of a zaimet or timar died in the wars, his fief was divided into as many 
portions as he had sons, unless the rent was no more than 3000 aspers, 
in which case the whole went to the eldest son. But if the holder died 
in his bed, his lands fell to the beglerbeg, who could bestow them upon 
the dead man's heirs, give them to any of his own servants, or sell them, 
as he pleased 1 . 

The Turks did not interfere with the Greek municipal system, which 
had existed for centuries before the Ottoman conquest. As far back as 
the Byzantine times we find that the Hellenic communities employed 
representatives, not necessarily drawn from their own members, at the 
Imperial Court at Constantinople. Thus, in the eleventh century, 
Michael Psellos represented the JEgean Islands at the capital 2 ; but, in 
some cases, instead of having a permanent representative, whose 
functions may be compared with those of the agents-general of our self- 
governing colonies, a local deputation occasionally visited Constantinople 
to lay its grievances before the central authorities. In the Venetian 
island of Tenos a similar practice prevailed; there a committee was 

1 Rycaut in Knolles, Turkish History, n. 87 (ed. 1687). 

2 Sathas, Meo-aiowt/c^ Bi^XioB^ktj, v. 339. Paparregopoulos, v. 575. 



358 TURKISH GREECE 

selected from among the primates to watch over the administration of 
the Venetian officials. The Turks, like the Romans, were quite willing 
that their Greek subjects should continue to enjoy local self-government. 
Accordingly, they allowed the communes to promote commerce and 
found schools, while Greek naturally continued to be the official 
language of the communal authorities. There was no hard and fast 
rule for their election, and no stereotyped title by which they were 
known all over Greece. But, generally speaking, every town and even 
every hamlet had its own Greek officials, elected by the Christian 
inhabitants, or by some portion of them, in a more or less indirect 
fashion, and variously styled " elders of the parish," " elders," archontes, 
"primates," or, in Turkish, khodja-bashis. Thus, at a late period of the 
Ottoman domination, in the island of Psara the whole community met 
annually for the election of forty electors, who in turn elected four 
"elders of the parish"; at the same period, in the island of Spetsai, the 
five "primates" were elected annually by the ships' captains and the 
well-to-do citizens ; while Hydra, during a large part of the eighteenth 
century, was administered by its priests, with whom two laymen were 
associated. The Morea had certain special municipal privileges. It was 
permitted to send two or three " primates " to Constantinople, who were 
able to mitigate the exactions of the Turkish Pashas by the influence 
which they acquired during their stay there. Moreover, each province of 
the peninsula used to send two prominent Greeks once or twice a year to 
the seat of the Pasha to confer with him upon the affairs of the Morea. 
Sometimes, both there and in Thessaly, municipal office descended as a 
heritage from father to son, and too often the feuds, which continued to 
distinguish the Moreote archontes, descended, with their dignities, to their 
descendants. Their duties were to administer the local affairs of their 
communities, to act as arbitrators in civil cases, to levy local rates, to 
manage the local treasury, and to act as protectors and advisers of the 
oppressed. Sometimes they carried out this last duty without flinching, 
sometimes, however, their conduct earned them the name of " a kind of 
Christian Turks 1 ." 

Both the law of Islam and the laws of human nature forbade the 
wholesale conversion of the conquered to the faith of the conquerors. 
But Mohammed II, who spoke Greek and knew the Greeks well, 
recognised, like the wise statesman that he was, the possibility of 
managing his Christian subjects through the medium of their own 
Church. The Turks were a foreign garrison in a hostile country, and in 
the middle of the fifteenth century it was quite possible that some 

1 Finlay, vi. II. 



TURKISH GREECE 359 

Catholic power might undertake a new crusade for the deliverance of 
the East. The bitter hatred of the Eastern for the Western Church 
provided the astute Sultan with a powerful incentive for the toleration 
and even patronage of the Orthodox religion. He saw that, if he favoured 
the one branch of Christendom, he would prevent its union with the 
other, and he made a most politic selection of an instrument for the 
accomplishment of his plan. One of the strongest opponents of the union 
had been Georgios Scholarios, a man of great influence with the Orthodox 
and of equal unpopularity with the Catholics. As soon as Constantinople 
had fallen, the Sultan caused diligent search to be made for this un- 
compromising champion of Orthodoxy, and about the end of the same 
year gave orders for his election as (Ecumenical Patriarch, according to 
the time-honoured forms which the Byzantine Empire had recognised 
for centuries. Gennadios II, as the new Patriarch was styled, was 
invited to a banquet by the Sultan, who showed him the greatest 
attention, and accompanied him as far as the courtyard of the palace, 
where he assisted him to mount his horse. A her at of the Sultan deter- 
mined the position, powers, and privileges of Gennadios and his 
successors. The (Ecumenical Patriarch was declared to be "untaxable 
and irremovable," and the document, of which only a summary has 
come down to us in the history of Phrantzes 1 , is said to have prohibited 
the conversion of Christian churches into mosques. The loss of the 
original berat is of less importance because subsequent rescripts modified 
these notable concessions, while in practice the privileges of the Patriarch 
came to be far less respected than in theory. To him was assigned the 
supreme administration of all churches and monasteries, the right of 
deposing archbishops and bishops, and the highest criminal jurisdiction 
over all the clergy. He decided all matrimonial questions, and other 
suits, in which the parties, being both Christians, preferred his judgment 
to that of the Turkish courts. He could levy dues for the needs of the 
Church on laity and clergy alike, and it was provided that existing 
ecclesiastical property should be respected, and that no Christian should 
be forced to embrace Islam. But in these respects, as well as with regard 
to the fiscal exemption and irremovability of the Patriarch, the 
ecclesiastical history of the Greeks under the Turks shows us a gradual 
falling off from the original intentions of Mohammed II. A later berat 
laid it down that the Patriarch could be deposed for one of three reasons 
— oppression of his flock, transgression of the ecclesiastical law, and 
treason towards his sovereign — elastic terms, capable of a wide inter- 
pretation. Mohammed II himself deposed the Patriarch Joseph I, for 

1 P. 308. 



360 TURKISH GREECE 

refusing to sanction the marriage of the widow of the last Duke of 
Athens with George Amoiroutses, the traitor who had been accused of 
handing over Trebizond to the Turks, and who had a wife still living. 
From the Turkish conquest to the present day 69 Patriarchs have been 
deposed, several more than once, 20 were thus removed in the seven- 
teenth century, and the Sultans at times inflicted punishments on the 
Patriarchs, which recall the horrible mutilations of Byzantine times. 
From the moment of the conquest, Christian churches, beginning with 
St Sophia, were converted into mosques, and the seat of the Patri- 
archate, fixed by Mohammed II at the Church of the Holy Apostles, was 
successively moved, as church after church became a sacred place of 
Islam, till it reached, in the beginning of the seventeenth century, its 
present home in the Phanar. All over Greece the same process went on, 
wherever the Mussulmans were numerous, and we have seen at Salonika, 
Livadia and Larissa buildings which have served first as churches and 
then as mosques. Certain dues, too, were fixed, which the Patriarch was 
expected to pay; and soon bakshish, the bane of Turkey, began to affect 
Patriarchal elections. This introduction of simony into the Greek Church 
was due to the intrigues of the Greeks themselves. After the fall of the 
empire of Trebizond in 1461 many of the Trapezuntine grandees sought 
careers at Constantinople. Among other posts they coveted that of the 
Patriarch, and as early as 1467 they conspired with that object against 
Markos II, the fourth successor of Gennadios 1 . They succeeded in 
securing his deposition and the election of one of their own party by 
promising that he would pay an annual sum of one thousand gold pieces 
and forego the allowance which his four predecessors had received from 
the government. The evil, thus soon introduced, spread apace. Two years 
later, an offer of double the sum paid by the Patriarch ensured his 
removal in favour of a wealthier candidate. Then the annual payment 
was raised to three thousand gold pieces, and large sums came to be 
spent in bribes to courtiers, eunuchs, janissaries and the female favourites 
of the Sultans, the money being ultimately raised out of the clergy and 
laity. Thus, the history of the Patriarchate resembles that of the 
mediaeval Papacy in that the same means were employed to ensure an 
election. After the Reformation, Jesuits and Protestants, each anxious 
to have at the head of the Greek Church a man favourable to themselves, 
joined in the bidding, and between the years 1623 and 1700 there were 
about fifty Patriarchal elections, most of them won by bribery. The debts 
of the Patriarchate became enormous, as a consequence of this almost 

1 Historia Patriarchica, 102-7; Cobham, The Patriarchs of Constantinople; 
Paparregopoulos, op. cit. v. 502-36; Finlay, v. 130-49. 



TURKISH GREECE 361 

constant expenditure, and the necessity thus imposed upon the Patriarch 
of selling all the chief ecclesiastical offices in his gift was one of the main 
causes which made the Greek Church so unpopular in many parts of 
Turkey, where the population belonged to another race than the Hellenic. 
The history of Roumania abounds with examples of the exactions of 
Greek bishops, who sought to make the wretched people make up to 
them what they had spent on the purchase of their sees. 

Another cause tended, in course of time, to make the Turkish 
Government less careful of the Patriarch's privileges and dignities. He 
had been regarded by Mohammed II as a bulwark against the Catholic 
powers ; but, a century after the fall of Constantinople, Rome, distracted 
by the Protestant secession, had become far less dangerous, and Venice 
had lost her last possessions in the Morea, while in the seventeenth 
century Spain was no longer an enemy to be feared. Moreover, France, 
the "eldest daughter of the Church," and the patroness of the Jesuits, 
had become the ally of Turkey, and supported her proteges, who first 
appeared at Constantinople in 1609, against the (Ecumenical Patriarch. 
Thus, finding himself in little danger from a disunited Europe and an 
impotent Papacy, the Sultan could afford to modify his attitude towards 
the head of the Greek Church. After 1657, the Patriarch ceased to be 
installed by the Sultan in person, who was thenceforth represented by 
the Grand Vizier, and further restrictions were soon placed upon the 
honours paid to him. Still, the CEcumenical Patriarch enjoyed, through- 
out the Turkish domination, a great ecclesiastical and political position, 
such as some of his predecessors had not held under the Byzantine 
Empire, such as his successors have never held since the Church in Greece 
became autocephalous, and the Bulgarian Church became independent. 
In the Turkish days, he was the spiritual, and in many respects the 
political, head, not only of the Greek subjects of the Sultan, but of all 
the Orthodox Christians within his dominions, Bulgarians, Serbs 1 , 
Albanians, and Armenians of the Orthodox rite, who, as well as Greeks, 
were all collectively described as Romaioi — for in those days religion 
and not race was the mark by which Ottoman subjects were distinguished. 
Moreover, he was not only the accredited representative of the Orthodox 
with the Porte, but he was also the ecclesiastical superior of all the 
Orthodox communities in the Venetian dominions, and he was therefore 
permitted to correspond with all those foreign powers which had subjects 
of that religion. Thus, so long as Venice was a Levantine State, she had 

1 The Serb Patriarchate of Ipek was practically removed to Carlovitz in 1738, 
and ceased to exist even in name in 1766. The Bulgarian Patriarchate of Ochrida 
was formally abolished in 1767. 



362 TURKISH GREECE 

continual relations with the Patriarch, and the Venetian bailie at 
Constantinople conducted diplomatic business with him, no less than 
with the Turkish government. Mohammed II, in the treaty which he 
concluded with Venice in the year after the capture of Constantinople, 
specially provided for the preservation to the Patriarch of all the 
revenues which his predecessors had received from the Orthodox. We 
frequently find the Patriarchs intervening with the Venetians on behalf 
of the Orthodox inhabitants of the Venetian colonies, sometimes urging 
the claims of the Greeks of Koron, Modon and Crete, sometimes suc- 
cessfully deprecating the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar in the 
Venetian possessions, and in one case rebuking the Orthodox Cretans 
for their persecution of the Jews. Nothing more clearly proves the 
peculiar position of the Patriarch as the head cf an imperium in 
imperio, than the fact that the Turkish government conducted its 
business with him through the medium of the Reis-effendi, or Minister 
for foreign affairs. Not without reason did men address so powerful a 
personage as "master" and even "king." We might, indeed, compare 
his situation with that of the Pope since 1870. Like the Pope, he had 
no territory, but his ecclesiastical sway ranged over and beyond the 
dominions of the sovereign, in whose capital his seat was fixed. Like 
the Pope, he negotiated with diplomatists, corresponded with foreign 
governments, and combined, or identified, politics and religion. And, 
like the Pope, he at times intrigued against the monarch who had 
ensured him the secure exercise of his privileges within his dominions. 
Although the Koran forbade the forcible conversion of the Christians, 
there were various causes which swelled the ranks of Islam. The Turks, 
being but a small body of men compared with, the great numbers of the 
Christians, early saw that they could neither preserve nor extend their 
conquests without the aid of the latter. Accordingly, just as some 
Christian rulers of the East had enlisted young Turks to fight their 
battles, so the Sultan Orchan, more than a century before the capture 
of Constantinople, founded the terrible institution of the Janissaries, 
a corps entirely recruited from that time till the middle of the sixteenth 
century from Christian children who embraced the faith of the sovereign. 
At the outset the numbers of these children were not less than one 
thousand a year, and they were taken at the tender age of six or seven 
years at the most ; but later on, perhaps in the reign of Mohammed II, 
a regular levy of children was ordered to be made throughout all the 
subject provinces of Turkey, with a few favoured exceptions. This 
tribute of Christian children, or TraiSofid^w/xa, as the Greeks called it, 
was subsequently erected into a complete system, and became one of 



TURKISH GREECE 363 

the greatest engines of conversion. Every five years, or even oftener, 
for the tribute came at last to be levied annually, an officer of the 
Janissaries would descend with a clerk upon each district, and demand 
from the head man of the place a list of all the Christian families. Every 
Christian father was compelled to make a declaration of the number of 
his sons and to present them for inspection. At first, only one boy out 
of every five and only one out of every family were taken. Then no 
proportion was observed, but the government took as many children 
as it wanted, always selecting the strongest, and not even sparing the 
only son of a family. The age, too, was raised to ten, fifteen, and even 
more years. We can easily imagine the miser}' inflicted upon the un- 
happy parents by a system which recalled the fabled tribute paid by 
the Athenians to the Minotaur. We are told by an eye-witness that 
mothers sometimes prayed God to strike their sons dead in order to save 
them from enlistment. Others, in order to evade the law, would marry 
their children at nine years of age ; but the authorities soon disregarded 
these infantile unions, and marriage was no excuse in the eyes of an 
arbitrary official. There were only two ways of avoiding the payment of 
this hideous blood-tax — bribery or flight into one of the Venetian 
colonies, and the latter means of escape became more difficult when 
Venice lost her last possessions on the mainland. It might have been 
thought that this tax would have been more likely to cause a rising. Yet 
in the long list of insurrections against the Turks we can recall one only, 
that of 1565, which is specially ascribed to this reason, and that was an 
Albanian and not a Greek agitation 1 . Moreover, as time went on, and 
the Janissaries became more pampered and more powerful, it was 
esteemed by many a blessing rather than a curse that their sons should 
serve in the corps. The Venetian bailie at Constantinople in the middle 
of the sixteenth century expressly says that the tribute of children had 
by that time come to be regarded as a special favour enjoyed by the 
Christians, who were thus able to provide their sons with an easy and 
comfortable profession ! We even hear of Mussulman parents so anxious 
to share in this singular privilege that they lent their children to the 
Christians so that they might be enrolled as such among the Janissaries. 
But the loss to Hellenism and to Christianity through the tribute of 
children was enormous. If we remember that for two centuries the 
Janissaries were exclusively recruited from the Christians, and that the 
latter were chiefly to be found in European Turkey, and if we take into 
consideration that the tribute children were not only the strongest 
members of their respective families, but were also prohibited by the 

1 Sathas, TovpKOKpaTovntvrj 'EXXdy, p. 128. 



364 TURKISH GREECE 

original constitution of the corps from marrying, for the Janissaries, 
like the Zulu army of Cetewayo, were a celibate body, we may form 
some idea of what a drain the vaiSofjud^wfia was upon the actual and 
possible resources of Eastern Christianity. A modern Greek historian 1 
estimates at about a million the number of Christian children taken to 
serve in the corps during the first two centuries of its existence. At last, 
however, it fell into disuse, and in the seventeenth century ceased to 
exist. A variety of causes contributed to the decline of an institution 
which had so greatly strengthened the Turkish army at the expense of 
the Christian population. From the time when the Janissaries were 
allowed to marry, they naturally desired to have their own children taken 
into the corps, while others obtained admission to its privileges by 
bribery. On the other hand, the Sultans came to regard the Janissaries 
as dangerous to themselves, much as the Roman Emperors had found 
the Praetorians to be, and were thus less anxious to have the corps 
recruited. The number of conversions to Islam had also narrowed the 
area of enlistment from among the Christians; and Rycaut, writing 
shortly after the custom had fallen into disuse, mentions the corruption 
of the officers and the carelessness in their discipline as the cause of its 
decay. Accordingly we last hear of the tribute being levied in 1676, 
though an isolated case is mentioned as late as 1703 2 . 

Besides the tribute of Christian children, there was a further reason 
for the conversion of the Greeks in the honours offered to those who 
apostatised. When the Turks found themselves masters of a great 
European Empire, they had neither the financial nor the diplomatic skill 
requisite for conducting it. The Turkish method of keeping accounts was 
cumbrous, the Turkish language is extremely difficult to write, and the 
Turks resembled the British in their absolute ignorance of foreign tongues, 
while treaties and diplomatic correspondence continued to be composed 
in Greek. But empires are riot won by linguists but by men of character, 
who are easily able to find subtle intellects to do their office work for 
them. The precise qualities which the Turks lacked the Greeks possessed, 
and Mohammed II saw at once how useful the versatile talents of his 
new subjects would be in the administration of his dominions. But there 
was this difficul